Antique coffers are plain and simple country pieces of period antique furniture and are one of the earliest forms of furniture on record. The coffer would usually be constructed from planks of solid oak with a hinged lid and be of simple pegged construction or with the old iron clout nails. They will often have a small hinged compartment on the inside for storing candles. Period antique coffers are mainly seen from the 17th and early 18th century and although are very simply made, they are very strong and robust so have stood the test of time. This is why you can see some stunning examples still in good original condition full of lovely charm and character. They were built as dual purpose, storing goods such as bedding or silver and also a surface for sitting on or using as a side table. Domed topped or ark coffers have a dome shaped lid which can be removed and reversed for kneading dough. The mule chest is basically a form of the coffer but with drawers below and often used for the storage of horse equipment. Here on Antiques world we sell some stunning antique chests for sale and you can see our latest selection of coffers here, or look at the few examples we have for sale below.
Antique Coffers for Sale
Stunning18th Century Small Period Elm Antique Coffer£795.00
Unusual 18th Century Dome Top Country Oak Antique Coffer£795.00
18th Century Period Antique Oak Coffer£695.00
Antique Victorian Pine Bedding Box / Blanket Box£0.00
Victorian Oak & Metal Banded Antique Silver Chest£0.00
Quality Antique Inlaid Oak Coffer£0.00
Country Period Oak Antique Mule Chest£0.00
Stunning Georgian Warm Oak Antique Mule Chest£0.00
Styles of Antique Coffers
Antique Oak Coffer
Here are a few examples we have previously sold antique oak coffers. This is beautifully carved and inscribed with the date 1729 and the initials ‘I.H’ along with wonderfully carved leaf and floral decoration. It has a lift up lid above finely carved and unusual decorative panels with borders and stands on raised legs. It has a panelled back and sides and is of pegged construction.
This is a really early example called a Six Plank Coffer. It oozes character and has early pin hinges. The front has a simple moulded edge and displays a rustic iron locking plate. It stands on tall feet and is of period pegged construction. At approximately 350 years old this antique coffer is full of charm and character with the expected old repairs in a piece of this period.
This 18th Century period Oak coffer, would make the ideal bedding box and is a lovely warm shade of oak. It has raised fielded panels on both the lid and front along with moulded edges and the oak grain is beautifully figured.
This Rare 17th Century Oak Coffer is of the classic six plank design and still stands at its original height! Designed originally as a travelling chest and seat this coffer is of a six plank design has been finished with simple decorative edges. It still has the original iron locking plate and hinges. Its key attraction is the fact it still stands at its original height making it quite a rare find as most coffers of this age have suffered damage to their supports and have consequently had to have their feet sawn down.
This Coffer has unusual Geometric Detailing. It dates from the period of William III and the moulded top has the original thumb moulded edge and sits above the geometric design moulded front. With panelled sides and back and sitting on raised feet it is a very attractive solid period piece and stands at the ideal height to place a TV on? It is of the original pegged construction and benefits from later hinges making it a very usable storage solution.
This example has a key and working lock along with a charming iron locking plate.
Other woods and styles used in antique coffers
This antique Georgian Lancashire chest dates from around 1770 and is constructed from the finest quality imported mahogany timbers that are no longer available to today’s craftsmen. It has a low raised shaped back above a beautifully figured hinged top that opens to reveal a clean interior with the original oak base boards. The front is attractively figured and displays three over two faux drawers above four working drawers, all with moulded edges, oak linings (working drawers only!) and the original brass swan neck handles. The drawers are flanked by reeded columns with decorative inlaid banding. The piece stands on ogee bracket feet and has the original oak back boards. This substantial antique chest oozes quality, its weight being notable due to the quality of timbers used.
This Unusual 17th century Coffer dates from ca. 1680 and has an unusual beautifully carved and inlaid front, with moulded panelled sides and back. The inlays are made from Walnut and Mahogany and locally sourced fruit woods. This was polished with a quality dark furniture wax.
This example is made in the very unusual dome shape. They were often made so the lids could be removed and then used to knead bread. They were also used as a bedding box or dowry chest.