English Chest History
If your closet is anything like mine, storage space seems to be very limited. There are multiple hangers on the ground and various garments that I haven’t worn in years but which I still treasure for sentimental reasons. The more I seem to hang these items, the more it seems that there is a conspiracy for the clothes to gang up and become more adamant about lying on the floor.
So, I have given up and now it looks like my closet is a place where clothes go when they feel tired and don’t feel like standing up on a hanger like the rest of their fellow counterparts. I have thought about the possible ways to arrange my chaotic closet world, and the best solution that I have reached thus far seemed to involve an English chest. Don’t be intimidated by the fancy term, it’s merely a big wooden box to throw your stuff in. Similar to the big toy box that you had when you were a little tyke. I figure it is a perfect solution to my mess. I will put all the things that I want to keep but can’t really find a perfect place for in this English chest.
For the early settlers, chests were vital because there were no dressers or closets to store clothing, household sheets, etc. Most of them didn’t have an attic or a cellar to store things. Chests and drawers the way we know them nowadays were nonexistent. Can you imagine the mess in their house? Once the English chest was invented, people immediately began to use it for a variety of purposes. The English chest was used to sleep on, as a dinner table, or in place of a chair. Chairs were expensive and not usually found among simple cottages.
Chests were made to be very durable and made out of the strongest woods. They were found in the poorest houses to big, extravagant mansions. By the mid-seventeenth century, English chests were decorated extravagantly. These are the ones we see today across antique stores that are popular. The Baroque style English chest had extravagant details that had many design elements which included elaborate carvings, heavy ornamentation, moldings, twisted columns, and motifs of shells or tulips.
Most of us know English chests as the kind that a new bride uses to store her precious wedding dress or other heirlooms. There are many other uses for this wooden box as history has proven to us.