Campaign furniture. A colonel’s strong box of the 1820s


Lt Col Edward Carey Fleming, 53rd Regt. A George IV period military officer’s campaign strong box. The steel bound oak box is of unusual dimensions: 24½ ins x 13ins and 17 ins in height. It is much more strongly bound with steel plates than the usual silver trunks of the period and its smaller size suggests it was designed for an officer’s personal valuables. It has the usual integral lock whose keyhole is blocked by the hasp provided for the padlock – in the manner of a silver trunk. Although we do not have the key there is no sign of the lock’s having been forced. There are iron handles to the ends. The front has a brass plate engraved Lt Col E. C. FLEMING, 53rd REGT. One end has a later paper label with a number and the later ownership name in ink Mrs Sherer. The interest of the paper label lies in the way it shows that officers’ kit was often sold off or passed on locally when they left an overseas posting. Mrs Sherer was the wife of George Moyle Sherer [1800-1879, later Maj Gen Sir G M Sherer, KCSI], from a military family whose careers were entirely spent in India. The very heavy weight of this box means it would be best collected or delivered.      jun14/1

Lt Col Edward Carey Fleming, C.B. joined the army in 1802, Lt 1804, Capt 1807, Major 1813, Lt Col 1816. In 1816 he was commanding the  24th Foot but in 1820 he transferred to command the 53rd. His earlier career was perhaps spent in the West India Regt. In the 1840 army list he is shown as still serving as Inspecting Officer R District.

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