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Campaign Chest in Fine Furniture Auction

Posted on Christopher Hampton's Blog

Campaign furniture is a curious area of collecting, as the reason for its existence has long since passed. Back in the 18th and 19th centuries, the Officer class were extracted from the landed gentry. They would often have purchased their commissions and expected a high degree of creature comforts whether they were in action or not. Long military campaigns and extended overland travel were the order of the day and there were plenty of people in the lower orders to fetch and carry. Thus a market developed for furnishings specifically adapted for ease of transportation.

 a 19th century teak and brass mounted campaign chest (fs19/770)

A 19th Century teak and brass mounted campaign chest (FS19/770)

The best known of these is probably the campaign chest which was manufactured in two sections with brass carrying handles at the ends of each section, drawer handles which folded flush against the carcase and brass corner mouldings to strengthen and protect the edges of the piece. As in this example (FS19/770), they would often have secretaire drawers so they could double as a desk. Some examples still appear on the market with their original outer carrying cases which gave greater protection still. They are sought after today as attractive and well-designed pieces of furniture.

The above campaign chest (FS19/770) is being offered for sale in the forthcoming quarterly fine furniture auction on 4th July 2013 as part of our Summer Fine Sale and is expected to fetch £1,000-£1,500.

The furniture department is actually involved in two days of consecutive selling. The first of these is at our Exeter Salerooms on 4th July 2013 as part of ou regularr Fine Art Sale and then the second day comprises the first special sale of the Nye Furniture Collection that is being sold on 5th July 2013 at the Honiton Saleroom in Dowell Street.

This weblog is produced by Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood.

This article was originally published on Christopher Hampton's Blog on Tue, 25 Jun 2013 09:06:10 GMT.

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Christopher Hampton ASFAVChristopher Hampton ASFAV

Christopher Hampton is the Managing Director of Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood. He is also Head of the Furniture Department and an active member of the Valuations Department.

Christopher Hampton, a second generation auctioneer and son of Peter Hampton, was born and educated in the Isle of Wight. 

Christopher Hampton joined local auctioneers Way Riddett in 1974, where he worked in the salerooms in Ryde for seven years before joining Phillips Auctioneers in London. He worked in the furniture department under head of department and mentor, Michael Cowley, until moving to Devon in 1984 to run the Phillips saleroom in Exeter.

In 1989 he became Regional Director for Phillips operations in Devon and Cornwall until 1999 when the company was sold. He founded Hampton & Littlewood with Rachel Littlewood in 2001, which merged with Bearne's in 2009.

He has enjoyed the transition from being a part of an international auction house to being a part of the principal auction house in Devon and Cornwall.

In his spare time he enjoys running and gardening.

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