Three key features point to this two-piece campaign chest as having been made for maritime use; the most obvious being its shallow 14-1/2″ depth.
George IV brass-bound teak secretaire chest, circa 1820. (Richard Gardner)
The second indication is the chest’s fixed bracket feet – as opposed to terrestrial campaign chests which usually have removable turned feet.
The final clue is the castors beneath the chest. While civilian and expeditionary maritime furniture normally sat firm on its feet, Naval case furniture often rode on large castors* to enable it to be easily removed by one person when battle stations were declared.
*A desk fitted with large castors, used by Admiral Earl Howe aboard the flagship Queen Charlotte, can be seen at The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment Museum at Clandon Park, Surrey.
See Additional Examples of Maritime Case Furniture for a very similar chest.