British Colonial Rosewood Secretaire Chest of DrawersMid 19th century
A British colonial campaign secretaire chest of drawers made of solid rosewood. The top drawer opens to reveal a secretaire interior, fitted with a black leather writing surface and eight drawers, all drawers with a brass pull. It is also fitted two pigeon holes and a compartment that can be locked. This top drawer features many secret compartments. All of the chest’s drawers are carved with a sunburst design, centered with the original recessed brass handle. The drawers are flanked by two solid barley twisted pillars. The piece stands on four bun feet. The sunburst or “Surajmukhi” is a typical motive of the state of Gujarat signifying prosperity.
Campaign or “knock down” furniture was portable military furniture and used by British officers when they set out for a campaign in India. However, because campaign furniture was extremely versatile, it also appealed to home owners who appreciated its elegance, strength and ease of storage.
The secretaire chest is in good condition and has been lovingly restored and finished to its former glory using a traditional form of French polishing and waxing. The Indian rosewood that this piece has been made off has a naturally occurring dark shade with a striking grain.
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British colonial India
H: 123 cm W: 130 cm D: 60 cm
H: 48½” W: 51” D: 23½”