One of the reason many campaign chests survived wars and colonial life is they were at times packed into other plain chests. These iron-bound and plain shells were painted and simple affairs – and are a fairly rare sight today.
Despite their simplicity and plain construction, they were critical to the mobile household – the cases were stacked and used as a wardrobe for the officer and his family. Note the removable shelf in the illustration above from the Army & Navy Co-operative Society 1885 catalog.
I hope to inspect some of these cases and maybe build a set for my book. They might make a good introductory project – and I really dislike the veneered English Victorian wardrobe we now use for our sheets.
A double victory.
The other interesting thing about these Army & Navy Co-operative Society catalogs is how the lumber world has turned a bit upside down in the last 125 years.
You can buy almost all the wooden furniture in three species: the cheapest is always teak. Getting the item in mahogany is an upcharge. And you have to pay a further upcharge if you want the piece in oak.
— Christopher Schwarz