coffers chests & boxes

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

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". £1675

Elizabethan oak coffer

Elizabethan oak four panelled chest with a nulled frieze and reeded upright decoration. Circa 1580-1600. W60". D23". H27". £2450

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". £1850

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". £1550

jacobean oak panelled coffer

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

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". £675

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.

  • Coffers
  • Boxes and Chests
  • Mule Chests