• Item: Mule Chest
• Provenance England, UK
• Period: George III
• Circa: 1780
• Wood: Solid Oak
• Used for storing bedding & clothes
• Twin plank top
• Triple fielded front panels
• Single lower moulded drawer
• Internal candle box & lid
• Peg construction
• Original steel bracket lid hinges
• Old replacement brass swan neck handles & escutcheons
• Original working locks to lid and drawer (with working key)
• 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 III oak mule chest, circa 1780, in good condition, with sought after proportions, displaying a stunning 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 moulded hinged top, with triple squared fielded panels to the front, and a single drawer below. The drawers feature moulded fronts, with the original brass swan neck handles and escutcheons, constructed with butt joints. The hinged top retains the original steel strap hinges. The inside of the lid is decorated with metal studs inscribing the initials ‘E G’. It is apparent that the studs were once arranged to display the initials ‘R W’, therefore it is possible the mule chest has been used at least twice as a dowry. 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. The chest retains its original steel working lock (with key); the drawer below features a later brass working lever lock (with key). Good quality wide inset oak side fielded panels adorn the sides of the chest; the back retains the original backboards. The drawer lining and bottom is constructed of oak, 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 shaped 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 the chest. Blankets and bedding were stored above in the larger compartment above.
This mule chest 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 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 original 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 and key escutcheons to the lid and drawer are original. The interior is clean, dry, and usable; it also retains the original candle box (with lid). The steel strap hinges to the lid and bracket feet are also original. The chest retains its original steel working lock (with key); the drawer below features a later brass working lever lock (with key). The drawer is oak lined, runs smoothly and closes flush to the frame. The chest is well constructed, solid in joint and ready to use.
Height = 75.5cm or 29¾” or 2ft 5¾”
Width = 121.5cm or 47⅞” or 3ft 11⅞”
Depth = 52.5cm or 20⅝” or 1ft 8⅝”
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