Campaign furniture denotes any products that are designed to be broken down or folded for ease of travel. The term was popularised in the 19th and 20th centuries by British military campaigns, where certain standards of sophisticated living needed to be upheld in the field.
It might not be necessary these days to pack all the furniture and household items required for an extended trip into trunks and ship them across the world, but the fabled era of military and colonial travel that led to the creation of iconic designs, like the campaign chest and the Safari chair, still retains great allure.
That’s why American leather goods brand Ghurka recently collaborated with New York designer Richard Wrightman, which resulted in a collection of campaign furniture that recalls an era of seriously stylish adventures. Drawing on childhood memories of his father’s campaign furniture collection, Wrightman has developed a portfolio of over 50 pieces, from which seven were selected for Ghurka’s range.
“With my collection I wanted to reference campaign furniture but produce a more contemporary version, almost as if the days of campaigning were still here,” explains the designer. “Nobody travels this way any more so there isn’t a need for field furniture of this calibre, but what’s still alive is the romance for that age.”
This year, to commemorate the 200-year history of Gurkha service to the British crown, the brand that borrowed its name from the famous Nepalese warriors has created a group of products under the G200 label, which feature green wool and red trim – referencing the uniforms of Gurkha soldiers.
“Nobody travels this way any more so there isn’t a need for field furniture of this calibre, but what’s still alive is the romance for that age.”
Wrightman’s contribution to the G200 range is a special Officer’s Field Set, consisting of a picnic table, two field chairs, a wool blanket, two pillows and a picnic umbrella that neatly stow away in a leather-covered trunk.
“The main challenge was interpreting the Ghurka brand,” Wrightman adds. “Working with some of their textiles and leathers was interesting and in the end I was very happy to see my pieces looking different.” All the proceeds from sales of the sets will support the work of The Gurkha Welfare Trust, Britain’s leading charity dedicated to assisting Gurkha veterans and their dependants.
The bespoke, limited edition Officer’s Field Set encapsulates both Wrightman’s precisely handcrafted interpretation of classic campaign furniture and the attention to detail that epitomises Ghurka’s products. Those fortunate enough to get their hands on one of these rare and exquisite sets of portable furniture will be buying into a heritage of true adventure, while supporting a worthwhile humanitarian cause.
£495 – £17,500, available now at ghurka.com.
25% of sales benefit the Ghurka Welfare Trust, which enables Gurkha ex-servicemen to live out their lives in their homeland of Nepal.
Available exclusively at Ghurka stores and Fortnum & Mason.