The idea of a Dowry might seem alien to many of us now, but during the 19th and 20th Centuries, it was very much commonplace and this social history can be seen through the furniture.
This Northern European Dowry chest is early 19th Century with hand painted decoration which has mellowed with age to give the appearance of ancient needlework. £420, please e-mail for further details.
A Dowry box or chest was often made by the Father for his daughter when she came of age and would be used to collect items such as household linen and clothing, very often made by herself in preparation for setting up her own home after marriage. It is the equivalent of the ‘bottom drawer’!
The wooden chest was often very highly decorated with paintwork of flowers and fruits, the year of the marriage and initials of the bride and were also sometimes panelled.
The more elaborate the chest, the more affluent the family tended to be.
These chests were commonplace in Northern European countries, such as Germany, Austria or Scandinavia.
The chests are given a new lease of life today and are often used as beautiful coffee tables or toy trunks.
This Scandinavian Dowry chest is early 19th Century and has beautiful moulded detail. £595, please e-mail for further details (SOLD)