Blanket Chests were very popular during the 17th - 19th Centuries. In its simplest form, the blanket chest was a large wooden box with a hinged lid. Chests were used for storage of linens, clothes and valuables. They were also used as additional seating for chairs  which were a luxury in most homes. The form was later referred to hope chests or bridal chests. Having a hinged top and sometimes drawers they were not only practical but beautifully decorated. Today they are prized more for their aesthetics than functionality with the best examples elevated to works of art.

Blanket chests can be categorized in three groups: hardwood chests, usually walnut, cherry, or oak; softwood chests,usually pine and/or poplar; paint decorated chests usually pine or poplar. Chest makers made by woodworkers were prevalent the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. Some chests were made in the deep South. The origin of the chest makes a huge difference in value.

Closets were not typical, attics were not accessible and cellars were damp. Over the years, drawers were added to the basic form, increasing the height and evolving into a "mule chest". The drawers were used to by the Colonist to store "Mules" or slippers.  Most chests have a candle drawer or document compartment. Many have bracketed feet and dovetail construction. The hinged lid have mortised chest locks, strike plate and key holes. This was to protect valuables, ammunition, money and documents.

We are offering a Sheraton style mixed wood blanket chest with chamfered panels and an interior document box. It dates 1830 to 1865. It has a chest lock, strike plate and key hole. This chest has square nails with corner pieces and turned feet all in one piece. It has a beautiful honey patina and the inside bottom has been re-stained where needed.

It measures 42" L, 20"W and 28"T. Needless to say it is in excellent condition with clean lines and minor, honest wear. It is a real beauty - very hard to find!



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