One of the oddest criticisms I’ve received about the book “Campaign Furniture” is that I’m not British, and therefore have no legitimate connection to that historical style.
It’s true that I am an American citizen – I didn’t have much control about precisely where I emerged from the birth canal. And it’s true that I have a good deal of German blood. My mom could tell you exactly how mongrel (but not mongol) I am.
But I do have a long and personal connection to campaign furniture. As I mention in the book, my grandparents collected pieces in the style. Plus my grandfather and father built pieces in the campaign style. The West home was filled with all sorts of antiques, and many of them were in the campaign style – campaign chests, coaching tables and my grandfather West’s document box.
My mother brought this to me in May for my birthday. It is probably the nicest birthday gift I have ever received. The box is veneered in a tropical hardwood, likely some sort of mahogany, and joined with miters at the four corners.
The inlaid brass is set in beautifully in most places, except for at the back of the box. The veneer on the lid has buckled a bit, which has pushed some of the brasses around.
However, there are two other details that are far more satisfying than the workmanship.
1. The bottom of the box is covered in green felt, the tell-tale sign that my grandparents owned the piece. And the bottom still has the label noting that it belonged to my grandfather. He affixed this label on items that he took to work with him.
2. All the screws are clocked and filed flush to the hardware.
I cannot wait to fill the box with NASCAR stickers and Slim Jims. Cheerio!
— Christopher Schwarz