• Item: Mule Chest
• Provenance North West England, UK
• Period: George III
• Circa: 1780
• Wood: Oak
• Used for storing bedding & clothes
• 3 plank top
• 3 fielded front panels
• 2 lower moulded drawers
• Period brass oval handles
• Internal candle box
• Peg construction
• Wrought iron hinges
• Original top, sides, back & bottom
• Original polish and patination
• Lovely oxblood colour
• 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 and a lovely oxblood oak colour. Originating from a farmhouse in the North West of England, this chest features a three plank moulded hinged top, with triple squared fielded panels to the front, and two drawers below. The drawers feature simple moulded fronts, with later period brass oval handles. The brass key escutcheon below the lid is original. The interior is clean, dry and the coffer is practical and usable. The coffer retains its original candle box to the left hand side and in the hinged candle box lid. Good quality wide twin inset oak side panels adorn the sides of the chest; the back retains the original rough-hewn oak backboards. The drawer linings and bottoms are constructed of pine, 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 simple stiles (feet).
A type of furniture like this 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 item 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 item 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 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 key escutcheon on the front of the chest is original. The drawers feature old replacement period brass handles. The interior is clean, dry, and usable; it also retains the original candle box. The wrought iron strap hinges are old replacements (possibly Victorian) and the interior is without a lock; this is not surprising given the age of the item.
The chest is well constructed, solid in joint and ready to use.
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Ref. Mule Chest 1