Trunks and chests, header image pt 2


Wooden chests. The first thought to many when they think of “Chest’s” is the popular Hollywood renditions of the fabled “Treasure Chest”. Indeed, many chests did contain treasure, but not in the sense distilled in cinema.

Small wooden chest with many murals painted on surface
Small wooden chest with many murals painted on surface

The main function of chests also known as “Coffer”or “Kist” is for storage, usually winter blankets and clothing. They are not intended for travel. Their decoration is quite different from that of trunks. Intricate carvings and beautiful murals decorate more opulent examples.

The size of chests varies greatly, from large bed foot chests to small draw chests.

Of the many different chests one of the better known is the “Dowry Chest” called “Hope chest” “bottom draw” or “glory box” depending on the region found. In certain cultures a girl of 15 yrs would receive a Dowry chest. People would fill the chest over time with items for her pending marriage and new life.Linin, pillows household goods and at times items of monetary value. It was a valuable item and one of which secrets and gossip often passed amongst the young male suitors of the time. While this tradition has passed in most of the world the “Dowry” in one form or another still remains to this day in certain areas.

Large carved and brass inlayed wooden chest
Chest montage

Our Trunks and chests

NK Bantawai stock a lot of Trunks and chests at NK Bantawai, many different forms and styles. We like them ourselves and appreciate their beauty, history and use. We know our discerning customers do also.

What stories could these trunks and wooden chests tell, if only they could. Travels, places, hopes and dreams. They represented adventure, distance, security and future wishes.

Often when people visit our showrooms we see them run a hand over the trunks and Chests. It’s almost as if they are trying to feel the stories they hold and unlock their past.

They are without a doubt a very special addition to a home and remain a beautifully useful one.

Small wooden chest with many murals painted on surface
Large carved wood low chest