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Antique Mule Chests were a form of Coffer, primitively built using old clout nails or wooden pegs and having a hinged lid. The difference between them, is they have two or three drawers at the bottom of the wooden box due to the impracticality of difficult to reach items stored at the bottom of the coffer. Antique Mule Chests were most popular in the early to mid 17th Century in Oak and were often used to store clothes, linens, harness equipment or valuables and all had a large key with lock, although it is quite unusual to find them still with their original key. These early pieces of period furniture always have a lovely charm about them from years of use and a build up of wax giving them a glowing patina. The best examples always have the original pin hinges, along with oak base boards and candle box with lift up lid in the interior. They will stand on tall raised feet called ‘stiles’ and have a panelled or carved front. Earlier examples will have a raised, fielded panel with Mahogany cross banded edging. Some have the dates carved onto the top rail with two initials, this was called a ‘marriage chest’. Have a look below at our lovely examples available for sale.
This Magnificent 17th Century Warm Figured Period Oak Antique Mule Chest has a very unusual drawer configuration with three over two over one longer drawer all with brass swan neck handles. It has a beautifully figured lid with ample storage above three beautifully figured panels and each drawer is Oak lined with cock-beaded edges. This fine Oak antique chest stands on shaped bracket feet.
This Period Panelled Oak Antique Mule Chest Has a Moulded Lid above an Unusual Front with decorative carvings with initials MR and dated 1713. It is full of beautiful charm and character, with a lovely country feel. The sides and back are panelled and this charming piece stands on raised feet and is of pegged construction.