• Item: Mule Chest
• Provenance England, UK
• Period: George III
• Circa: 1780
• Wood: Solid Oak
• Used for storing bedding & clothes
• Twin plank top
• Cross banded top & drawer fronts
• Satinwood & ebony inlay
• Faux drawers to front
• Joined construction
• Old replacement brass lid hinges
• Old replacement brass swan neck handles
• Original working lock to lid (with working key)
• Moulded bracket feet
• Original top, sides, back & bottom
• Original polish and patination
• Stunning colour & patination
• Free delivery to mainland England, Wales & southern Scotland*
• Free 14-day returns policy
Here is a fine quality antique English George III inlaid solid oak mule chest, circa 1780, in good condition, with sought after proportions, displaying a lovely mellow colour & patination. This was most likely a dowry / marriage chest, given to a newly wedded couple for their new home. This chest features a two-plank cross banded and moulded hinged top, with a set of faux drawer fronts below. The faux drawer fronts boast moulded and cross banded perimeter, as well as string and geometric design satinwood and ebony inlay. They also feature old replacement brass swan neck handles, possibly Victorian. The key escutcheons are original. The front corners of the chest are chamfered and display lovely diamond-shape and string inlay, with further inlay below. The lid is secured to the frame by old replacement butt hinges, most likely in the Victorian period. The chest interior features brass stays on either side, to help hold the lid open when in use. The interior is clean, dry and the coffer is practical and usable. The chest retains its original steel working lock (with key). The back of the chest retains the original backboards. The bottom is constructed of oak, as are the wide floorboards in the base of the chest. The chest has been made using the joined construction method; this is evident around the body of the frame. The chest terminates on good quality moulded bracket feet.
A type of furniture like this oak mule chest 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 such chests. Blankets and bedding were stored above in the larger compartment above.
This mule chest boasts a mellow brown 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 oak mule chest 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.
This mule chest is in good condition. There are 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 brass handles to the lid and drawer are old period replacements, possibly Victorian. The interior is clean, dry, and usable. The brass lid hinges are also old replacements. The chest retains its original steel working lock (with key). The item stands on good quality moulded bracket feet. The chest is well constructed, solid in joint and ready to use.
Height = 82.4cm or 32½” or 2ft 8½”
Width = 143.8cm or 56⅝” or 4ft 8⅝”
Depth = 52cm or 20½” or 1ft 8½”
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