A large wooden trunk, also known as a blanket box, in which clothes and blankets were stored. Examples dating from the 16th and 17th centuries may be elaborately carved, though these decorations are often 19th century 'improvements'. Blanket chests were an essential household item during Australian pioneering days when sophisticated furniture was relatively scarce. The 19th century chests were much plainer than the earlier panelled versions. Many were brought to Australia by immigrants, although many made from red cedar or kauri pine still survive. The chests usually have flat wooden tops (distinguishing them from sea chests which were frequently domed), and in the better versions the side joints are dovetailed. 'Blanket chest' is a fairly broad term, since the trunks were used for storing all kinds of household effects. Carpenters' tool chests, which resemble blanket chests, often have small divisions and partitions with small drawers let into the base of the chest. The trunks today are very often sought after as convenient coffee tables such things being an entirely 20th century innovation.
A small Australian cedar blanket box, circa 1860, of rectangular form with a hinged top and dovetail detail to the corners, 91 cm wide, x 49 cm deep x, 43 cm high. Provenance: Private Collection Melbourne
George III style Chinoiserie decorated lacquered blanket chest, depicting figures in a mountainous landscape, mounted on separate painted base with bracket feet. Height 80 cm. Length 146 cm. Depth 64 cm.
A George II inlaid walnut and brass mounted blanket chest, the domed chest with ebony and boxwood inlay with applied brass mounts and studs bearing the arms of George II enclosing a velvet lined interior, the whole raised on a later carved walnut base with
A blackwood blanket box, Australian school, possibly Tasmanian, the rectangular front finely carved in relief with an impressive eucalyptus tree, the top with conforming leaf and branch carving, scroll feet, 66 x 45 x 41 cm.
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