I’m in Charleston, S.C., this week to fatten myself up on grits and explore some of the antique shops for campaign furniture examples to study.
First the bad news: Antiques of the Indies, the awesome King Street shop I visited last fall, recently closed. However I found that the owner had taken a booth at Seventeen South Antiques, a shop across the river. And after poking around some other King Street shops, I found some other interesting pieces to study.
The best find of the day was one of the prettiest campaign chests I’ve yet encountered. This circa 1840 chest had fantastic skeletonized hardware and lots of hallmarks of a well-made piece: dust seals between the layers, central muntins on the drawer bottoms and drawer slips.
The great thing about doing research at a store is they (usually) let you take the whole thing apart – as long as you are gentle.
The other fun find of the day were some Anglo-Indian perfume boxes. These little brass-bound boxes have metal chasing in the lid. The insides can be simple or have elaborate metalwork, which sometimes is used to hold in a mirror inside the lid.
I also photographed a mahogany lift-lid chest with some nice corner brasses and a central pull – a common feature. This chest had a till at the end.
OK, enough talk about furniture. There’s a bone marrow bread pudding calling my name.
— Christopher Schwarz
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