The cartoon to the cover of this catalogue shows the reaction to events of the Boer War in South Africa and the difficulty the British Army had in dealing with the guerrilla tactics employed against them. It was drawn by AS Boyd and published in The Graphic on October 19th 1901. It illustrates wonderfully the slow moving British Army encumbered by all the furniture and personal items that they carried. The soldiers are struggling under the weight of a grandfather clock, piano, overmantle, dog kennel, dining chair, cradle, cooking range and even a lawnmower. Times and the way warfare was conducted had changed by the end of the 19th Century and the army was being ridiculed for being outdated. The text below the cartoon notes Lord Kitchener issuing the order 'The Commander-in-Chief in South Africa desires to impress on officers in command of mobile columns that the object of such columns is mobility …'
This catalogue shows a number of pieces that might have weighed down the British Army but allowed its officers to enjoy a level of comfort in a foreign land. Of particular note is the Chair Bed by Argles as, given his very short time span in Catherine Street, few example of his work come onto the market. The two X frame Dining Chairs were also exciting discoveries for us. The English one was found first and we were pleased to get such a well made chair of a design that we knew existed but had never actually seen. As these things happen, it's Colonial cousin turned up shortly afterwards. So to have the opportunity to compare a colonial version of an English Chair in the same catalogue is a treat indeed. The Irish makers are well represented in this catalogue with three good pieces by Ross and a great Chest by Gregory Kane. There is also an article on Kane. Equally well represented is the Chinese Export Trade with a Desk, a pair of Trunks unusual for their domed tops and an exceptional Desk with cabinet retaining most of its Canton enamel fittings.