Antiques Column: Casting an eye on medieval furniture

Antique furniture - for Antiques Column
Antique furniture - for Antiques Column

The medieval bedroom is a very different room to the 21st century bedroom.

There were no beds with slide- out drawers or fitted wardrobes.

The earliest form of moveable strorage furniture was the hollowed out log – evoked by the name trunk

Where did medieval women store their possessions?

The earliest form of moveable storage furniture was the hollowed-out log and these primitive beginnings are still evoked by the name “trunk” for a travelling container.

During the medieval period simple chests and coffers were used as containers for a wide variety of objects and items.

However, these chests were not exactly convenient forms of storage and during the 17th century more sophisticated methods of storage designed for storing books, clothing and linen were developed.

The chest was the main medieval storage method and it was made in huge numbers. Generally they were containers with flat, hinged lids, usually with feet to keep the carcass away from the damp floor and usually with handles.

Coffers were travelling trunks without feet, but with handles. Chests were made by joiners and coffers were made by cofferers.

A simple chest of the day consisted of six planks tnailed or dovetailed, with the vertical slab ends shaped at the bottom to form feet.

Later, in the 15th century, the chest developed a framed and panelled construction and this style was immediately more popular with the everyday chest buyer.

The chest in a similar form has remained popular right up to the present day and throughout the centuries the framed and panelled construction developed in the 15th century has essentially stayed the same.