I often find something new about an old topic. A few years ago I came across this piece at large outdoor antique festival:


Described to me as a seagoing officer’s campaign chest.


Includes a drawer with a large wash bowl several small bowls.


Another view of the drawer.


Quality dovetail construction throughout.


Several drawers. Lower left drawer actually holds a chamber pot.


Pull-out shelf.


Split top opens to reveal a mirror and some small storage compartments.

I shared what I was told about this chest with a few people. They expressed some skepticism that this was seagoing  furniture. The dealer told me that there was a similar chest at thee National Maritime Museum Greenwich. I looked online and found:


Not an exact match but certainly family.

Their site has another view of the chest:


Not a different view but a mirror image of the previous picture.

You can see the chest’s museum  page HERE.

Recently, I received my copy of Shearer Furniture Designs from the Cabinet-Makers’ Book of Prices 1788. The full title seems to be:

The cabinet-makers’ London book of prices, and designs of cabinet work, calculated for the convenience of cabinet makers in general, whereby the price of executing any piece of work may be easily found.

I have a 1962 facsimile of the third edition, 1803, formerly of the Department of Education, University of Keele in Keele, Staffordshire. I have another copy of the same edition published in 2010 by Eighteenth Century Collections Online Print Editions that includes tables with highly detailed price lists for the manufacture of furniture. For instance, a 2 foot oval work table with plain tapered legs should sell for 7 shillings. Veneering the top would add 8 pence. Cross-band or a margin around then top would add 4 pence per foot. Oiling and polishing another 3 pence. Can’t get Bob Flexner for that.

The Shearer in the title refers to Tom Shearer, a presumed designer of furniture and craftsman that signed  17 of the original 20 plates in the 1788 edition of this book. The other three are anonymous.

In this book is the following plate:


Figure 1. looks to be another relative.

And the description:


Now you know.