Maker: Army & Navy CSL
Subcategory: Campaign Chests
The action of the escretoire to this teak chest is very compact yet sensible.
Most campaign chests with a secretaire have a full length or short top drawer with a fall front. This chest stands out for having a different mechanism. The secretaire drawer is set lower on the chest and pulls out. There is a satinwood and leather angled, writing surface to the middle under which the hinged paper rack behind it is housed during travel. There is also a lidded compartment underneath it that hides a catch to operate the secret drawer. To either side of the writing area are compartments with slide lids. The one to the right has a pen tray etc. with a velvet lined secret drawer below it. Contained within this drawer are 12 lucky coins, some wrapped in paper. They are mostly English but there are two American coins, one Argentinean and one French. They date from 1853 to 1891. There is also a gold ring engraved with the initials TH.
The chest has the circular ivorine Army & Navy name plate to the top left drawer. The shape of the removable feet are typical of the maker. The secretaire to this chest is more considered and involved than most designs and very practical for it. Late 19th century.