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An excellent and labelled George III brass bound mahogany Naval campaign portable desk with secret drawers by Nicholas Middleton, circa 1805


Beautifully brass-mounted and constructed from thick panels of solid Cuban mahogany, with secondary timbers also in solid mahogany highlighting what a magnificent quality example of early 19th century Naval campaign furniture this is. The large case opens to reveal a sumptuous Navy blue and gilt tooled leather sloped writing surface alongside compartments for an inkwells, quills and a pounce pot. A stack of finely constructed secret drawers is brilliantly concealed beneath the forward compartments, and is accessed by a labyrinth of removable mahogany slides, a push-chamber and hidden spring-loaded catch. Another long, shallow spring-loaded secret drawer is hidden beneath the pounce pot chamber in the forward compartment and magically pops out when the pounce pot slide is lifted.


Known as a Captain's portable writing desk this multi-use box would have been used by Officers at sea and secured to the wooden deck floor by means of a spring-loaded deck screw operated by a large "key" - this original key is retained with the box.


The box also has a removable lectern stand, stored securely within the inside stationary lid, which can be slotted into two brass holes on the top lid of the box. The lid can then be tilted using the brass pin to create a sloped reading book rest with lecturn book stand.


There is a large side drawer that can only be opened when the interior brass pin is removed; each side having flush inlaid brass Campaign carrying handles.

George III brass bound mahogany Naval campaign portable desk, Nicholas Middleton


    • Please contact Baraset House for more information


      416 666 6295

    • Additional information

    • The internal flap bears the original maker's label for Nicholas Middleton at 162 The Strand in London, with Royal Warrants to His Majesty the King and The Prince of Wales; quite extraordinary that this important original paper trade label has survived.


      Nicholas Middleton is recorded at 162 The Strand, London, 1801-1810.  


      During the Napoleonic Wars, Middleton supplied the Royal Household and Officers of the Royal Navy, including flagships of Admiral Lord Nelson and Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy during the Battle of Copenhagen (1801) and the Battle of Trafalgar (1805).


      Between 1801-1812, Middleton is recorded in the Windsor Royal Archives as supplying the Royal Household with writing boxes and other supplies.

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