David Harper visits the Festival of Antiques, Peterborough Antiques Fair, at the East of England Showground and finds a fabulous example of the grandfather of your chest of drawers!
Have you ever wondered why the chest of drawers were invented? David Harper shows us their grandfather in this video.
“This is the coffer, an ancient piece of furniture that has been around from at least medieval times, probably much earlier.” David Harper expresses. The coffer is lifted off the ground as when these were made in the 17th & 18th century, the floors tended to be very damp, so the damp would rise and you wouldn’t want whatever is left inside the box – such as blankets, food.. perhaps even treasure!- to get wet, so they were lifted off the floor. When floors started to get drier as living conditions started to improve, they realise that the space in-between the floor and the coffer was completely wasted!
So… they filled it with a draw, which added some practicality to this design. This was then called a ‘mule chest’ and some clever person came up with an even greater idea of filling it with a flight of drawers, which soon became called… you guessed it… a chest of drawers! And that is why this beautiful piece of furniture is the grandfather of your chest of drawers! The more you know eh?