English antique furniture has long been admired by collectors for its exceptional craftsmanship and design. In addition to this general admiration, there are specific pieces of English furniture that have become iconic, and one of them is the bachelors chest. Bachelors chests first appeared in the latter half of the 17th century. These chests are defined by their small size and shallow depth, often with a set of three or four graduated drawers. The top is almost always hinged so it could be folded out to become a writing surface. The chests were typically made of oak, walnut, or elm.
The tradition of bachelors chests came about as a useful and practical piece of furniture for a bachelor’s bedroom apartments. The piece served as a place for storage as well as for writing while being compact enough to fit into small spaces.
The earliest bachelors chests often featured bun feet, while later examples in the early 18th century typically feature bracket feet. Some 18th century examples of bachelors chests replaced a writing slide for a hinged top, as in the above chest of drawers.
We are always on the hunt for exceptional examples of bachelors chests: ones with rich walnut veneers and interesting features. In conclusion, fine bachelors chests reflect the epitome of English design: brilliant concept and beautiful execution.