In addition to the campaign trunk with the clocked screws, my dad and I saw some other good examples of campaign furniture in the shops in Charleston, S.C., on Thursday.
Oh, we also found some poopy examples – stuff from the 1970s where the hardware was all applied to the surfaces – not flush like most of the well-made vintage stuff. I didn’t take photos of those. They hurt my eyes like the time the lady next to me in airport security had to lift up her fat folds for the guards to reveal a forgotten fanny pack.
The highlight was a fairly early mahogany chest we found at the 17 South antiques store. Priced at less than $4,000, I wanted to take it home with me to study.
The hardware was beautifully inset, and the skeletonized hardware suggested it was a fairly early chest – before 1830. Upon inspecting the inside, I found lots of overcuts that pointed out the dovetail layout for the full-blind dovetails that attached the top to the sides.
With this particular example, the tails were on the ends of the chest and the pins were on the tops and bottoms. That’s not always the case.
Also cool: a dovetail liquor box and an Anglo-Indian Campaign secretary found at a shop on King Street.
Collectors differentiate between items made in England and those made in the colonies. Piece like this could have been made anywhere in the world, from the Indies to India to China. Usually the construction isn’t as good as with the British pieces, but sometimes it is just as good.
This piece had some weirdness to it, but I really liked the way the writing slope folded out of the center drawer.
Today I leave Charleston (which always depresses me a bit) to teach at The Woodwright’s School in Pittsboro, N.C., for a few days. Then it’s back home to continue work on a campaign trunk I started earlier this week.
— Christopher Schwarz