• Item: Blanket Box with Drawers
• Provenance North West England, UK
• Period: George II
• Circa: 1730
• Wood: Solid Oak
• Used for storing bedding & clothes
• Twin plank top
• Twin fielded front panels
• Two lower moulded hand dovetailed drawers
• Internal candle box & lid
• Peg construction
• Later steel bracket lid hinges
• Original brass swan neck handles & escutcheons
• 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 good quality antique English George II oak mule chest / blanket box with drawers, circa 1730, in good condition, with sought after proportions, displaying a stunning colour & patination. Inscribed with the initials, “E. D.”, this was most likely a dowry / marriage chest, given to a newly wedded couple for their new home. Originating from a country house in the North West of England, this chest features a two-plank moulded hinged top, with triple squared fielded panels to the front, and two drawers below. The drawers feature primitive moulded fronts, boasting the original period brass swan neck handles and escutcheons, constructed with hand dovetail joints. The brass key escutcheon below the lid is also original. The hinged top features later steel strap hinges. The interior is clean, dry and the coffer is practical and usable. The coffer retains its original candle box, with a hinged oak lid, to the left-hand side.
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 pine, 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 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 above in the larger compartment above.
This blanket box with drawers boasts a rich dark oxblood 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.
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 key escutcheon on the front of the chest is original. The interior is clean, dry, and usable; it also retains the original candle box (with lid). The steel strap hinges on the lid are old replacements. The interior does not have a lock and there have also been later supporting wooden strips (which sit on the outside of the lid when closed) added to the underside of the lid, in order to ensure structural integrity; this is not surprising given the age of the item. The drawers boast the original period brass swan neck handles & escutcheons. The drawers feature original dummy / faux locks. The chest is well constructed, solid in joint and ready to use.
Height = 59.5cm or 23½” or 1ft 11½”
Width (Lid) = 114cm or 44⅞” or 3ft 8⅞”
Depth (Lid) = 50.9cm or 20” or 1ft 8”
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