A mahogany, Secretaire Campaign Chest attributable to Gregory Kane of Dame Street, Dublin.
This chest has a short secretaire drawer with the fall front opened by a single, sprung clip button to the righthand side. It has a red skiver with a gilt tooled edge, crescent shaped to one end to allow for the bow fronted interior drawers. The secretaire has one full width drawer with two shorter ones above, each flanked by two narrow pigeon holes. The drawer fronts are figured walnut crossbanded in tulip wood. A secret compartment is hidden behind one of the short drawers and accessed by completely removing the drawer. Although typical of Kane, the secretaire drawer is held in place by a removable lug accessed from the side.
The secretaire drawer has a strong Hobbs (founded in 1852) lock with key and all the others have locks stamped Patent with a crown working with a single key. The drawers are lined in mahogany and have brass campaign handles that stand slightly proud of the drawer fronts. The back of the chest is panelled.
Although this chest does not have a label or stamp for Kane, it has many attributes which confirm the maker: the brass strap work, the bow fronted interior drawers, the single release button for the drawer front, the use of a side lug instead of an ash holding spring for the secretaire drawer etc. Kane are known to have stamped their details in gilt to the leather skivers of their secretaire drawers but we have seen a few without this attribute. It maybe a sign that the chest is a little earlier in date.
Gregory Kane was a good maker and probably Ross’s biggest business rival in Dublin. He started in 1829 and was still in business two years before his death in 1887. More can be read on the company by clicking on Gregory Kane above. Not much of his furniture comes onto the market and this is a good example. Circa 1865.