MULE CHEST- PAINTED ROSEWOOD GRAIN
In the early days, closets were not typical, attics were not accessible and cellars were damp. Chests were a pieces of furniture designed to store linens, clothing and blankets. A Mule Chest is a wooden chest with a lift top lid over one or two drawers below. With a chest, if you wanted something at the bottom, you had to remove all the contents. With the drawers underneath, you avoided this problem.
Furniture makers in the early days did not produce a complete set of drawers in one piece. Some craftsmen figured out how to combine a chest with two drawers, making it more practical to store clothing. This hybrid was called a "Mule Chest" because a mule is a hybrid breed of horse and mule .
Itinerant traders used "Mule Chests" in their travels to have easy access to goods for customers. These chests were loaded on mules so that could be another origin of the name.
We are offering a untouched, painted rosewood grain mule chest from New York State, circa 1820-1830. This is a lidded chest over two drawers. Chest and drawers have original escutcheons, square nails, mortised chest locks, strike plate with keyhole, iron hinges and wooden turned drawer pulls. The chest has an interior document box with lid. The front has an exceptionally high cut out base with a straight apron that curves to bracket feet. The side aprons are curved angel wings. Two nailed on cleats under top of chest were added later to keep the top from warping. All original paint and parts.
The measurements are 43 "W, 19.5'D, 42"T. It is in excellent condition with tight seams and minor honest wear.
# EGD 1905