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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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Vintage Handmade Sewing Chest
Oct 29, 5:00 PM EDT
Vintage Handmade Sewing Chest
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$429 Bids
Fine Cherry Wood Tall Chest Of Drawers
Oct 29, 5:00 PM EDT
Fine Cherry Wood Tall Chest Of Drawers
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$608 Bids
Antique Australian cedar five drawer chest with key on turned feet, approx 125cm W x 120cm H
Oct 31, 9:30 AM AEDT
Antique Australian cedar five drawer chest with key on turned feet, approx 125cm W x 120cm H
by Vickers & Hoad
Est: AUD300- AUD500
AUD2208 Bids
Old Paris Porcelain Antique Figural Bombay Chest
Oct 27, 12:00 PM EDT
Old Paris Porcelain Antique Figural Bombay Chest
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$4508 Bids
Antique 4 Drawer Chest
Oct 29, 5:00 PM EDT
Antique 4 Drawer Chest
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$366 Bids
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VINTAGE CHEST OF DRAWERS
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
VINTAGE CHEST OF DRAWERS
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$176 Bids
PAIR OF VICTORIAN BEECHWOOD AND PINE CHESTS OF DRAWERS, 19TH CENTURY
Nov 03, 10:00 AM EDT
PAIR OF VICTORIAN BEECHWOOD AND PINE CHESTS OF DRAWERS, 19TH CENTURY
by Potomack Company
Est: $500- $800
$2,0006 Bids
Antique Flat Top Trunk
Oct 29, 5:00 PM EDT
Antique Flat Top Trunk
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$285 Bids
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VINTAGE LANE CEDAR CHEST
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
VINTAGE LANE CEDAR CHEST
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$225 Bids
Thomas Moser Cherry Wood Dresser Chest of Drawers
Nov 10, 2:00 PM EST
Thomas Moser Cherry Wood Dresser Chest of Drawers
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$2254 Bids
PAINTED TRUNK
Oct 29, 10:00 AM CDT
PAINTED TRUNK
by Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $200- $400
$1004 Bids
George III country oak 5 drawer chest with brushing slide 94 w x 48 d x 103 cm high
Oct 31, 10:00 AM AEDT
George III country oak 5 drawer chest with brushing slide 94 w x 48 d x 103 cm high
by Woodlands Auctions
Est: AUD500- AUD600
AUD4003 Bids
1961 Treasure Chest Lunchbox with Thermos
Nov 08, 6:00 PM EST
1961 Treasure Chest Lunchbox with Thermos
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$153 Bids
Montgomery Ward Art Nouveau Style 4 Drawer Chest
Oct 30, 10:00 AM MST
Montgomery Ward Art Nouveau Style 4 Drawer Chest
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$203 Bids
Formal Mahogany Queen Style Lowboy Chest
Oct 29, 5:00 PM EDT
Formal Mahogany Queen Style Lowboy Chest
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$362 Bids
Vintage Wooden Asian Chest W Drawers
Nov 17, 10:00 AM EST
Vintage Wooden Asian Chest W Drawers
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc
Est: $100- $400
$22 Bids
Rustic Style 5 Drawer Storage Chest
Oct 30, 10:00 AM MST
Rustic Style 5 Drawer Storage Chest
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$202 Bids
Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Mans Chest Davy Jones Mini Bust
Nov 04, 11:00 AM EDT
Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Mans Chest Davy Jones Mini Bust
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $40- $80
$152 Bids
Vintage Wooden Trunk
Oct 29, 12:00 PM PDT
Vintage Wooden Trunk
by California Auction Company LLC
Est: $45- $60
$112 Bids
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SOLID WOOD CHEST OF DRAWERS
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
SOLID WOOD CHEST OF DRAWERS
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$62 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Chests


Lawsons

Lawsons

Thomaston Place Auction Galleries

Thomaston Place Auction Galleries

Eldred's

Eldred's

Doyle New York

Doyle New York