Fisher London
TEL 07834 609115   
Georgian Campaign Mirror

Georgian Campaign Mirror

Price: SOLD
Ref: 10341

Housed within a protective mahogany case, a rare Georgian gentleman officer`s fine quality campaign mirror.  The lid of the case opens by means of a brass hook and eye fixing to either side and divides at its centre.  The lower hinged flap folds down to provide a useful area to place the gentleman`s shaving and dressing accoutrements, brushes etc., whilst the upper flap provides an adjustable easel ratchet support for the mirror in use.  The original, large rectangular mirror plate is housed within a simple, moulded mahogany frame and is held in position in the case by means of two brass `button` retaining screws which slide into a groove.  The top of the mirror is fitted with a sturdy brass ring in order that the piece might also be hung on a wall.  A interesting item of campaign furniture, still eminently practical today as originally intended and remaining in excellent condition.  Circa 1830.

A great many items of portable furniture were developed to ease life for the soldier or traveller during the 19th century.   Any furniture specifically made to break down or fold for ease of travel can be described as campaign furniture. It was designed to be packed up and carried on the march and  it is commonly associated with British Army Officers, many of whom had purchased their commissions. With the rise and expansion of the British Empire  in the 18th and 19th centuries the demand by the military, administrators and colonists increased. British officers of high social position in the Georgian  and Victorian  periods (17141901) often carried high quality portable furniture. 

There seemed no limit to the number of items an officer would take with him if he could afford to and how well your tent was kitted out was perhaps an indication of your social standing. William Howard Russell of The Times noted on the 2nd of February 1858 in his diary `Sire Colin Campbell`s baggage &c. extended for eighteen miles, when he came down from Lucknow.`

The Army & Navy Society followed on from a strong British tradition of innovative and practical design in portable furniture that had its roots in the 18th century and grew as the British Empire expanded. Much of the early portable furniture would have been bespoke made to order. It would not have been uncommon for a soldier to ask his local cabinet maker to take a domestic design and adapt it for travel. As demand grew, a number of well known designers including ChippendaleSheraton and Gillows
considered portable furniture and the end of the 18th century saw the rise of specialist makers with the names of Thomas Butler and Morgan & Sanders perhaps being the most recognized. The number of such specialists increased in the 19th century and this was fuelled not only by military needs but also the increase of people moving to the colonies. The Victorians and Edwardian were particularly concerned with improving design to its utmost practicality and the patents relating to furniture greatly increased in the second half of the 19th century.

In 1903, the Secretary of State for War, H. O. Arnold-Forster said that "The British Army is a social institution prepared for every emergency except that of war."  


Nicholas A. Brawer, 2001. British Campaign Furniture: Elegance Under Canvas, 1740 - 1914. 


H: 38cm (15.0")   W: 26cm (10.2")   D: 4cm (1.6")

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Tel: 07834 609115   
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