This Anglo-Indian teak campaign chest is a rare example being made in three parts, particularly small in dimension and being of remarkably high quality.
Although campaign chests were sometimes commissioned in the Indian sub-continent they rarely achieved the level of European craftsmanship. The materials, craftsmanship and design of the offered piece are particularly high indicating that it was probably made by a Chinese cabinet maker working in India. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries Chinese craftsmen were considered the elite of the furniture making community far exceeding the capabilities of their Indian counterparts and a steady flow of highly qualified artisans set up business to supply the growing European populations.
The quality of the dovetails, the cast brass work, both corners and strap work all screwed rather than pinned and the subtle design relationship between the heart shaped corner supports and the well cast iron handles with heart shaped backplates together with the shaping of the base all speak to a highly skilled maker.
A number of similar pieces are known, particularly one with Christopher Clarke Antiques in 2010 but these must be considered rare.
Anglo-Indian c. 1825-30
US private collection, prior to 2009
With Quester Antiques, CT, 2009
Howard Boote, Maryland, USA, 2010-2012