For many years the women of the world had the tradition of keeping a dowry–that is, a collection of linens, housewares, and valuables they would take with them into marriage. These would be placed in a chest. In the Middle East, these chests were usually as ornate as the family could afford.
This particular chest is Indian made and dates back to the 18th century. It is an excellent example of a dowry chest, showing all of the usual features: it is made of hard wood, it features red paint (the color of celebration), and is ornately decorated with brass. It is large and rectangular and features three drawers on the bottom, which were often used for linens.
After marriage, these chests would be kept by the new wife as a piece of furniture. They often had flat tops so it could be used as a bench or table.
Many chests had another compartment inside for the safe-keeping of valuables.
This chest is in excellent condition, especially considering it’s at least 220 years old. It is now available for sale at The Picker’s Junction! Stop in to take a look.