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Chests

Chests were first used in the Middle Ages both in the home and as luggage for wealthy nobles. Considered by many to be the “grandfather of furniture,” the chest ultimately helped spawn a flurry of furniture design.

The earliest chests were boarded or planked, crudely fashioned from six wood planks held together with nails. These early iterations often warped due to shrinkage and so developed into externally framed chests, which were less likely to warp and often adorned with carved friezes and eye-pleasing locking mechanism. Some of these early chests, including bible boxes, dowry chests, painted wedding chests, and blanket chests, became culturally significant folk art traditions and coveted antiques.

Chest-on-chests, also known as highboys, provided grand style to buyers with more extravagant tastes. Chests of drawers, or dressers, are now the most common form of storage furniture.


Quick Facts

  • In a 2011 Skinner auction, a rare Federal flame birch and mahogany veneer reverse serpentine chest of drawers sold for $314,000
  • A very important circa 1800 Johannes Spitler painted yellow pine blanket chest sold at a Jeffrey S. Evans auction for $356,500
  • In 2006, a chest of drawers by Robert Crosman, made in 1729, sold at a Christie's auction for $2.6 million

Recommended Items at Auction

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Early Virginia Federal Chest
Dec 03, 10:00 AM EST
Early Virginia Federal Chest
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$6011 Bids
Important Kentucky Hepplewhite Chest
Dec 03, 10:00 AM EST
Important Kentucky Hepplewhite Chest
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$32510 Bids
Vintage Goyard "Cabine" Steamer Trunk
Dec 03, 10:00 AM EST
Vintage Goyard "Cabine" Steamer Trunk
by Roland Auctions NY
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$2,00010 Bids
Fine Victorian Eastlake Walnut Sidelock Chest
Dec 02, 10:00 AM EST
Fine Victorian Eastlake Walnut Sidelock Chest
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$1109 Bids
Gerstner International 20-Inch Oak Hardwood Chest #GI-530 NIB
Dec 01, 10:00 AM EST
Gerstner International 20-Inch Oak Hardwood Chest #GI-530 NIB
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $20- $250
$2257 Bids
Early Piedmont N.C. Handmade Walnut Chest
Dec 03, 10:00 AM EST
Early Piedmont N.C. Handmade Walnut Chest
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$2107 Bids
Thomas Day Milton N.C. Furniture Bureau Woody Collection
Dec 03, 10:00 AM EST
Thomas Day Milton N.C. Furniture Bureau Woody Collection
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$1207 Bids
Very Rare Wythe Co Va. Sugar Chest Table
Dec 03, 10:00 AM EST
Very Rare Wythe Co Va. Sugar Chest Table
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$2605 Bids
Modern History Mahogany Bedside Chests, Pair
Dec 03, 11:00 AM EST
Modern History Mahogany Bedside Chests, Pair
by Northgate Gallery
Est: $100- $25,000
$803 Bids
Regency Stacking Chest With Carved Linen Cabinet
Dec 02, 10:00 AM EST
Regency Stacking Chest With Carved Linen Cabinet
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$853 Bids
Bond St. London, Leather Alligator Skin Style Trunk
Dec 03, 11:00 AM EST
Bond St. London, Leather Alligator Skin Style Trunk
by Northgate Gallery
Est: $100- $25,000
$603 Bids
EARLY DIMINUTIVE STANDING SPICE CHEST
Dec 03, 11:00 AM EST
EARLY DIMINUTIVE STANDING SPICE CHEST
by D. L. Straight Auctioneers
Est: $300- $500
$1003 Bids
Vintage 7-UP Chest / Cooler
Dec 03, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage 7-UP Chest / Cooler
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$503 Bids
ART DECO WATERFALL CEDAR CHEST
Dec 02, 10:00 AM CST
ART DECO WATERFALL CEDAR CHEST
by Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $100- $200
$602 Bids
Thomas Day Milton N.C. Furniture Bureau
Dec 03, 10:00 AM EST
Thomas Day Milton N.C. Furniture Bureau
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$702 Bids
Thomas Day Milton N.C. Furniture Bureau Woody Collection
Dec 03, 10:00 AM EST
Thomas Day Milton N.C. Furniture Bureau Woody Collection
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$702 Bids
Early Alamance County N.C. Walnut 2 Over 3 Chest
Dec 03, 10:00 AM EST
Early Alamance County N.C. Walnut 2 Over 3 Chest
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$852 Bids
Mid-Century Lane Cedar Chest w Black Vinyl Padded Lid
Dec 02, 5:00 PM EST
Mid-Century Lane Cedar Chest w Black Vinyl Padded Lid
by Plain City Auction
Est: $5- $100
$382 Bids
Hickory N.C. Mahogany Queen Anne Style Silver Chest
Dec 02, 10:00 AM EST
Hickory N.C. Mahogany Queen Anne Style Silver Chest
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$1102 Bids
Vintage English Bench Made Satinwood Painted Wellington Chest
Dec 03, 11:00 AM EST
Vintage English Bench Made Satinwood Painted Wellington Chest
by Northgate Gallery
Est: $100- $25,000
$702 Bids
LATE 19THC. 3 DRAWER SMALL CHEST (21 1/2" X 23 1/4" X 13" )
Dec 04, 10:30 AM EST
LATE 19THC. 3 DRAWER SMALL CHEST (21 1/2" X 23 1/4" X 13" )
by Carlsen Gallery, Inc.
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
PAIR OF EARLY 1900'S MINIATURE LOCKING CHESTS
Dec 06, 11:00 AM EST
PAIR OF EARLY 1900'S MINIATURE LOCKING CHESTS
by Westport Auction
Est: $50- $1,000
$501 Bid
AMERICAN CAN CO. MOONSCAPE TOY CHEST
Dec 02, 10:00 AM CST
AMERICAN CAN CO. MOONSCAPE TOY CHEST
by Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $50- $150
$251 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Chests


Wilkinson's Auctioneers

Wilkinson's Auctioneers

D. L. Straight Auctioneers

D. L. Straight Auctioneers

Railtons

Railtons

Mebane Antique Auction

Mebane Antique Auction