Antique English Picnic & Games Chest for $34,500
A stunning expanding English mahogany picnic chest and games table is being offered for sale by M.S. Rau Antiques of New Orleans for $34,500. The exquisite piece, made circa 1920, resembles a simple wooden trunk at first glance; with its four legs unfolded however, the top and sides open out to reveal a complete luncheon service for eight, including Sheffield silverplate utensils, bone-handled cutlery, plates and saucers, cups and glasses, kettles and burners for hot water and soup, single and stacked enamel containers, wicker-wrapped glass bottles, ceramic butter pots, silver plated tins, a corkscrew and matchbox.
When the meal is over, the table folds and unfolds again, transforming into a felt-topped card table, perfect for a game with the deck of playing cards which are also included in the fitted compartments. No doubt designed for a wealthy British army officer or aristocrat on safari who wished to sacrifice none of the comforts of home, the impressive example of British Colonial campaign furniture would have been custom crafted to the owner's specifications and transported about by a retinue of servants – the brass fittings highly polished, of course.