There are still many good examples of this basic piece of antique furniture which still remains popular as both decoration and storage.
The reason for so many pieces having survived was due in part to the breadth of its popularity during the Victorian era.
It was very mobile so popular with servants who brought a chest with them when they went into service and they kept any spare clothes and livery in this chest. Pine chests were also popular in the nursery and toys and blankets were stored in them. They were also padded on top allow for extra seating. The nursery was often the final resting place for old worn out furniture and many earlier chests would end up in the Victorian nursery.
Tradesmen, particularly carpenters and joiners kept their equipment in pine chests and many of these chests had sophisticated cordoned off interiors to house precious tools.
Cheaper versions of the Victorian chest were always painted with naïve decoration such as ships, sheep and cattle, and hot air balloons, but unfortunately most of these decorations have been stripped away due to the 1960s fashion for honey coloured and waxed stripped pine.
More up market versions of the chest could be covered with leather, sharkskin, velvet and sometimes fur, however, machine made leather-cloth generally was more common.
The producers of these chests were called garret masters and they would make pieces in their own homes to sell at market.
For advice on antique chests, Lancashire has a host of expert antique dealers that can help
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