coffers chests & boxes

coffers chests and boxes from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.

James I oak & inlaid coffer

James I oak panelled coffer with a guilloche carved frieze and lozenge inlaid decoration. Circa 1600-20. W47.5". D19". H25". £1850
SALE £1000


James I oak panelled coffer with a dentil frieze over a moulded and applied decorated front. Circa 1620. W41". D20.5". H26". £1550 SALE £900 .


17th century oak and elm coffer with a well carved panelled front and boarded top and end boards. W50". D21". H29.5". Circa 1640. £1250

Carved coffer

17th century oak panelled coffer with floral carved decoration. Of good deep colour and patination. W55.5". D24".H26.5". Circa 1640. £675

dorset chest

17th century oak chest with drawer. The carving typical of Dorset. W53. D24". H32". Circa 1660. £1350

17th century coffer

Charles II oak panelled coffer of good proportions with a lunette carved frieze. W44", D21". H24". Circa 1660. £1350

Elizabethan coffer

Elizabethan oak boarded coffer of very small proportions. W23.25". D9". H12.5". Circa 1580. SOLD

Elizabethan coffer

Elizabeth I oak coffer with a moulded edge top over a nulled carved frieze and shaped apron. with original iron work. W50". D20". H25". Circa 1560. SOLD


17th century oak boarded coffer of good colour and plain form and shaped end boards. W47". D14". H19.5". SOLD

Spanish oak chest

17th century oak Chest of heavy proportions with lozenge carved decoeration. With original ironwork Spain. W44". D20". H24". SOLD


17th century oak desk box with fine carving and colour with original iron butterfly hinges. W24". SOLD


Early 17th century oak boarded coffer with a channel moulded and punch work decorated front. Circa 1600-20. W44.5". D15". H19". SOLD

George III oak coffor bach

George III oak coffor bach of small proportions and good colour with fielded panels over a drawer and bracket feet. Circa 1780. W25". D14.5". H20.5". SOLD

Elizabethan oak coffer

Elizabethan oak four panelled chest with a nulled frieze and reeded upright decoration. Circa 1580-1600. W60". D23". H27". SOLD

James i oak boarded coffer

James I oak boarded coffer of small proportions with a guilloche carved front. Circa 1620. W33.75". H20.5". D11.5". SOLD

Charles I oak panelled coffer

Charles I oak panelled coffer with deep carved decoration and good colour. Circa 1640. W51.5". D21.25". H28.5". SOLD

16 th century oak boarded coffer

16th century oak boarded coffer of good colour and plain form with Tudor arch end boards. W40". D16.5". H21.5". SOLD

robin wheatley antiques

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Coffers, chests & boxes

One of the main pieces of early furniture were coffers and chests, which were designed for storage; being made from mainly oak, elm or walnut. Elm and walnut coffers are much less likely to heve survived today.

The earliest were originally of boarded construction, consisting of six planks or boards being simply nailed or sometimes pegged together.

Iron hinges and locks being used for security. In the 16th century a more sophistcated form of construction appeared and these were known as panelled chests or coffers; the panelling closely resembling the wall panelling of the period.

Henry V111 or Tudor coffers were often decorated with linenfold carved panels literally resembling folded linen.

The Elizabethan period saw the introduction of coffers being profusely carved and inlaid with exotic woods and bone for decoration

As time went on panelled varieties became the main type of coffer surviving throughout the 17th century and well into the 18th century.

In some panelled coffers from the early 17th century a drawer was added at the bottom, becoming known today a mule chest.

Along with chests and coffers other forms of mainly smaller boarded furniture were made such as oak desk or deed boxes, which again could be carved for decoration.

The bible was often kept safe under lock and key in its own box. Bible boxes, deed boxes, and desk boxes along with coffers, chests, and mule chests were often decorated, initialled and dated.