Wallrocks has a delightful range of 18th and 19th century antique coffers and chests, all hand sourced in original condition during our bi-annual buying trips around the globe, and come complete with a Certificate of Authenticity. One of the earliest types of furniture, these mobile and interesting pieces doubled as a safe place to keep one’s possessions either on travels or in the midst of a busy household, whilst also providing a useful place to sit or even sleep. Today they’re fabulous at the foot of a bed, as a coffee table or in a hall with artwork above.
Made from timber such as ebony, walnut, mahogany or pine, they can be simplistic country pieces, evoking visions of days long gone by, or more elaborately carved for use by the nobility, who would often have hundreds of chests to move their possessions from manor to manor. Some of the more delightful examples we have seen are the hand painted folk art marriage coffers commonly found in Eastern Europe.
Many of the larger coffers were constructed from hardwood and have interior storage compartments, along with a robust lock and key. They come in two basic styles, either boarded, or joined. As the name would suggest, joined coffers were made by skilled joiners and consisted of panels which were set into a frame, allowing the wood to move and preventing shrinkage or cracks. Boarded coffers were essentially made out of six boards or planks, which were nailed or pegged together to form the sides, top and bottom and could be made by less skilled carpenters. On occasion some coffers were made with a combination of both styles and were known as “joined and boarded”. The choice of style usually came down to cost, as joinery was more expensive than basic carpentry. Another cost factor was the decoration, which could range from simple moulding around the panels and frames to elaborate carvings and metal mounts, or even marquetry.
These days antique coffers or chests can be used as blanket boxes at the end of a bed, as a child’s toy box, a coffee table or even for a television cabinet. They are an extremely versatile addition to the home. Browse our collection to view the coffers and chests currently available.