Strong box used by a Commandant of the 14th (Murray’s Jat} Bengal Lancers, late 19th century


A locally made strong box of hardwood covered with leather [probably water buffalo] and steel mounted. The box measures 19 in wide, 9 ins from back to front, and 10ins deep. The box has iron drop handles at each, iron strengthening mounts at corners, and a working hasp and loop for a padlock. The lid is hinged at a point about 3 ins from the back of the box and the interior retains most of a cloth lining also of local manufacture. The lid retains most of an old paper label reading “Lieut Col Bairnsfather“. We have made no effort to clean up this item and it remains as we came across it in the attic of a Scottish country house. It is however quite sound. An atmospheric box with tales to tell or at least to stir the imagination of those fascinated by the North West Frontier.

Peter Robert Bairnsfather was Commandant of the 14th Bengal Lancers at the end of the Victorian era and had fought with the regiment in the Jowaki expedition of 1877 and the 2nd Afghan War where he was involved in the battles of Charasia and those around Kabul. Other items connected with Bairnsfather and a few photographs of the 14th Lancers can be found elsewhere on the website by using the SEARCH button and entering Bairnsfather. Shipping on this item could prove somewhat expensive as it is, as you would expect, very heavy.

1 in stock