Antique Chest of Drawers
Antique chest of drawers date back to the 17th Century. They are now also known as Dressers or Bureaus, and are pieces of furniture which have multiple drawers stacked one above each other.
There are lots of variations of these which makes them so popular. The top Drawers may be narrower in width allowing two drawers side by side in the space of the wider ones. There may also be two columns of drawers side by side.
Chests of drawers are usually made for storing clothing, especially lighter garments like socks and underwear, and any other items not normally hung up in a wardrobe. They are normally kept in a bedroom for this purpose, but they can actually be used to store anything that will fit into the drawers and can be kept anywhere suitable in the house depending on what is kept in them. Chests of drawers have through history been used as tool cabinets in a carpenter’s workshop.
A typical chest of drawers is approximately rectangular in shape and usually has some form of short legs at the bottom corners for standing on the floor.
An antique chest of drawers will often come in 5, 6 or 7-drawer styles, sometimes with a single or double top drawer. Although a chest of drawers can be quite plain in appearance, they can be made with an ornamental or fancy appearance, which includes various colors and wood tone finishes. This is often the case with a good quality antique chest of drawers.
Most antique chests of drawers fall into one of two kinds. The kind which are about waist high and those which are about shoulder or head high. Both types normally have a flat surface on the top. The waist high chests can often have a mirror fitted on top. This can be a valuable aid to the user to assist when dressing or grooming to see their appearance. Photographs, candles, lamps and other personal items are often used to decorate the surface of the chest of drawers.
In Europe in the middle ages the chest became widespread in use, especially in the homes of the wealthy and the nobility. The type of chest at this time was known as a coffer. It wasn’t much more than a simple wooden box with a hinged lid, and it may or may not have had feet. An early change in the design of the chest was the fitting of a single drawer underneath the main box. Some early pieces from the seventeenth century which have survived were manufactured in England and made from oak, and some seventeenth century pieces from France are made in walnut.
Some of the earliest surviving English pieces are from Charles I period and are dated as before 1649.
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