This wonderful mahogany trunk has some interesting provenance relating to Sheik Mbaruk Bin Raschid of 19th century British Colonial Africa. The trunk has iron mounts around it with partial mounts at the corners and top and bottom edges. The decorative hardware is brass on the inside and outside of the trunk. The inside has been lined with red velvet and Mbaruk Bin Raschid’s photo. A silver plaque of MWELE, dated August 17th 1895 is nailed to the top.
An antique chair with the same silver plate was discovered in an attic in Appledore England in 1967- Courtesy of VisitorUK.com Welcome to Ashford. One theory is that the mentioned chair, and the box below, were brought back to England after colonial missions of the late 19th century in East Africa. Mbaruk had led several rebellions against Seyyid Said, ruler of Oman and refused to recognize his power. Mbaruk was considered a threat to the stability of this region of British East Africa. On August 17th, 1895, British and native troops climbed the 1600 foot high Mwele hill and destroyed the stronghold. Mbaruk escaped south to German Africa.
“On 22 January 1897 the London Gazette announced that silver medals impressed ‘Mwele 1895’ were now ready for issue to those officers, seamen and marines who landed from H.M. Ships and formed part of the expedition.” -The Mwele Campaign 1895-1896 by Kevin Patience
This trunk is part of a very rich history relating to 19th century British East Africa and will be a conversation piece in anyone’s home.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with age separations, scratches and rubs to wood, minor losses to iron straps.