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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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Bourbon County Antique Cherry Sugar Chest
Jun 23, 6:00 PM EDT
Bourbon County Antique Cherry Sugar Chest
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$1,55028 Bids
Late 19th century cedar chest of five drawers, on turned feet 112 x 117 x 50cm,
Jun 24, 4:00 PM AEST
Late 19th century cedar chest of five drawers, on turned feet 112 x 117 x 50cm,
by Lawsons
Est: AUD300- AUD400
AUD22014 Bids
Antique Cherry Four Drawer Chest
Jun 23, 6:00 PM EDT
Antique Cherry Four Drawer Chest
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$18010 Bids
Early Sailor's Sea Chest With Ship Portraits
Jun 22, 6:30 PM EDT
Early Sailor's Sea Chest With Ship Portraits
by Gary R. Wallace Auctioneers Inc.
Est: $0- $0
$20010 Bids
Late 19th century cedar chest of four drawers, with ebonised knobs 105 x 105 x 47cm,
Jun 24, 4:00 PM AEST
Late 19th century cedar chest of four drawers, with ebonised knobs 105 x 105 x 47cm,
by Lawsons
Est: AUD150- AUD240
AUD1909 Bids
Stout and Sturdy Antique Cherry Four Drawer Chest
Jun 23, 6:00 PM EDT
Stout and Sturdy Antique Cherry Four Drawer Chest
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$1608 Bids
Circa 1700 English Oak Coffer
Jun 23, 6:00 PM EDT
Circa 1700 English Oak Coffer
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$1808 Bids
Late 19th century cedar chest of seven drawers, with two 'hat' drawers 124 x 47 114cm,
Jun 24, 4:00 PM AEST
Late 19th century cedar chest of seven drawers, with two 'hat' drawers 124 x 47 114cm,
by Lawsons
Est: AUD300- AUD400
AUD2207 Bids
19th century metal bound trunk (59 x 92 x 55cm)
Jun 20, 10:00 AM AEST
19th century metal bound trunk (59 x 92 x 55cm)
by Lawsons
Est: AUD200- AUD300
AUD606 Bids
Early Faux Grained Chest of 4 Drawers
Jun 22, 6:30 PM EDT
Early Faux Grained Chest of 4 Drawers
by Gary R. Wallace Auctioneers Inc.
Est: $0- $0
$455 Bids
Cherry Seven Drawer Lingerie Chest
Jun 23, 6:00 PM EDT
Cherry Seven Drawer Lingerie Chest
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$555 Bids
Contemporary Bombay Co. Lingerie Chest
Jun 23, 6:00 PM EDT
Contemporary Bombay Co. Lingerie Chest
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$405 Bids
Antique Cherry Blanket Chest
Jun 23, 6:00 PM EDT
Antique Cherry Blanket Chest
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$655 Bids
Antique cedar chest of 7 drawers, turned knob handles, brass key escutcheons. 118cm H, 120cm W, 49cm D.
Jun 19, 7:00 PM AEST
Antique cedar chest of 7 drawers, turned knob handles, brass key escutcheons. 118cm H, 120cm W, 49cm D.
by Bargain Hunt Auctions
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD505 Bids
Cane long trunk with hemp rope handles (52 x 143 x 50cm)
Jun 20, 10:00 AM AEST
Cane long trunk with hemp rope handles (52 x 143 x 50cm)
by Lawsons
Est: AUD200- AUD300
AUD705 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Chests


Lawsons

Lawsons

Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates

Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates

Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales

Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales

South Jersey Auction by Babington Auction Inc.

South Jersey Auction by Babington Auction Inc.