• Item: Mule Chest
• Provenance England, UK
• Circa: 1680 – 1700
• Wood: Solid oak
• Twin plank moulded top
• Geometric moulded panels
• Single working moulded drawer
• Internal candle box & lid
• Peg construction
• Old replacement steel butterfly hinges
• Original pear-drop handles & escutcheons
• Working lock to lid and drawer (with keys)
• Original top, sides, drawer linings, back & bottom
• Lovely colour and patination
• Ideal for storing bedding & clothes
• Free delivery to mainland England, Wales & southern Scotland*
• Free 14-day returns policy
Here is a fine quality antique English late 17th century oak mule chest, with a geometric panelled design, displaying a lovely colour, circa 1680 – 1720, in excellent condition. This chest features a lovely two-plank moulded hinged top, with decorative applied geometric moulding to the three panels to the front, with a single working drawer below. The drawer front is decorated with applied geometric moulding and retains the original pear-drop brass handles & escutcheons. Constructed with the original drawer linings and bottom, the drawer runs on a primitive central drawer runner bar, along with a steel working lever lock (with working key).
The hinged top features old replacement steel butterfly hinges. The interior is clean, dry and the coffer is practical and usable. The chest also boasts a working lock (with working key) to the main storage area. Good quality wide twin inset oak side panels adorn the sides of the chest; the back retains the original rough-hewn oak backboards. The drawer linings and bottoms are constructed of solid, as are the wide floorboards in the base of the chest. The chest has been made using the pegged construction method; this is evident around the body of the frame. The chest terminates on its original length block stiles (feet).
A type of furniture like this would have primarily been used for storing bedding and clothes. In the eighteenth century, built-in wardrobes did not exist! A mule chest was often the only item of furniture that a family owned. It is believed that such chests were called “mule chests” because slippers, called mules in the 17th and 18th century, were kept in the drawers of the chest. Blankets and bedding were stored in the larger compartment above.
This blanket box with drawers boasts a rich warm oak colour. As it retains the original polish, it has a fantastic colour and patination; this can only be achieved through age and years of care and cleaning it has received.
This item would look great in a variety of rooms from the hallway, to the living room or bedroom, not only as an ornamental piece but also a useful storage chest.
Here is a fine quality antique English late 17th century oak mule chest, with a geometric panelled design, displaying a lovely colour, circa 1680 – 1720, in excellent condition. The chest has been wax-polished by hand in our workshop. Nominal old marks to the top, leading edges, tops, sides and front (see photos) but nothing significant considering the age of the item. Such old use marks are inevitable and perfectly acceptable due to its age and use it would have received. The interior is clean, dry, and usable. The steel butterfly hinges to the lid are old replacements. We believe the brass pear-drop handles and escutcheons to the two drawers are original. The chest includes working steel lever locks to move the main storage area and drawer (with working key). The chest stands on its original stiles (feet). The chest is well constructed, solid in joint and ready to use.
Height = 65cm or 25½” or 2ft 1½”
Width (Lid) = 120.5cm or 47⅜” or 3ft 11⅜”
Depth (Lid) = 54cm or 21¼” or 1ft 9¼”
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