Chest, Campaign

Campaign chest in two parts which stack together. The base chest has two large drawers. The top chest has a large drawer at the bottom and two small drawers on either side at the top and inbetween is a drop-down, writing drawer with two cubby holes and three little drawers inside at the the back. The centre of the writing platform is lined with green felt.
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This campaign chest originally belonged to the Richmond family and is associated with Richmond Cottage. Campaign chests weren't just used by military officers, they were useful on nineteenth-century immigration ships as a portable way of packing and moving belongings and furniture in one. This example is designed as two sets of drawers stacked on top of one another which can be lifted apart and easily carried. The top, centre drawer drops down and becomes a writing desk. You can see the stain from a spilled ink pot in the centre cubby hole. Campaign chests were also known as sea chests and many early families used them as they travelled to colonial New Zealand to set up their new lives. Once the families arrived, they could use the chests as furniture in their new homes.
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