The stand-out lot of May 2022 was lot 820 in Antique and Later Furniture and Furnishings: an oriental box on stand, dating from the early to mid 20th Century, which had a carved military cartouche for The Royal Army Veterinary Corps. We know this was post-1918 as the Veterinary corps gained its royal prefix then, it is the branch of the British Army responsible for the provision, training and care of animals.
It was a typical campaign piece with fold-out legs, but with elaborate and extensive carving and detail. It sold for £940 plus premium.
Campaign furniture is a type of furniture specifically made to break down/fold so can be packed up.
This was traditionally so could be carried whilst on the march and has been used since at least Roman times. More commonly (and lately) it is associated with British army officers of high social position who during Georgian and Victorian times often carried high-quality pieces of this portable furniture.
A similar type was made for naval service, merchant navy, and frequent travellers which allowed furnishings to be used in port or peacetime but that could be stowed away during rough weather or while in active service. This type is often very small, allowing it to be stowed away in cramped quarters.
While some items of campaign furniture are easily recognised as campaign items, being obviously made to dismantle or fold – and with reinforced brass caps, concealed hinges and handles etc, some pieces were designed to be fashionable. In such cases, as much of it looked like domestic furniture, it is harder to see how it dismantles.
Keep your eye out for campaign pieces in our regular furniture auctions.