Antique English 17th Century Oak Geometric Mule Chest / Blanket Box / Trunk with Drawer (Circa 1680 - 1700)


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Object Description

Here is a fine quality antique English late 17th century oak mule chest, with a geometric panelled design, displaying a lovely colour, circa 1680 – 1700, in excellent condition.

• Item: Mule Chest
• Provenance England, UK
• Circa: 1680 – 1700
• Wood: Solid oak
• Twin plank moulded top
• Geometric moulded panels
• Single working moulded drawer
• Internal candle box & lid
• Peg construction
• Old replacement steel butterfly hinges
• Original pear-drop handles & escutcheons
• Working lock to lid and drawer (with keys)
• Original top, sides, drawer linings, back & bottom
• Lovely colour and patination
• Ideal for storing bedding & clothes
• Free delivery to mainland England, Wales & southern Scotland*
• Free 14-day returns policy

Here is a fine quality antique English late 17th century oak mule chest, with a geometric panelled design, displaying a lovely colour, circa 1680 – 1720, in excellent condition. This chest features a lovely two-plank moulded hinged top, with decorative applied geometric moulding to the three panels to the front, with a single working drawer below. The drawer front is decorated with applied geometric moulding and retains the original pear-drop brass handles & escutcheons. Constructed with the original drawer linings and bottom, the drawer runs on a primitive central drawer runner bar, along with a steel working lever lock (with working key).

The hinged top features old replacement steel butterfly hinges. The interior is clean, dry and the coffer is practical and usable. The chest also boasts a working lock (with working key) to the main storage area. Good quality wide twin inset oak side panels adorn the sides of the chest; the back retains the original rough-hewn oak backboards. The drawer linings and bottoms are constructed of solid, as are the wide floorboards in the base of the chest. The chest has been made using the pegged construction method; this is evident around the body of the frame. The chest terminates on its original length block stiles (feet).

A type of furniture like this would have primarily been used for storing bedding and clothes. In the eighteenth century, built-in wardrobes did not exist! A mule chest was often the only item of furniture that a family owned. It is believed that such chests were called “mule chests” because slippers, called mules in the 17th and 18th century, were kept in the drawers of the chest. Blankets and bedding were stored in the larger compartment above.

This blanket box with drawers boasts a rich warm oak colour. As it retains the original polish, it has a fantastic colour and patination; this can only be achieved through age and years of care and cleaning it has received.

This item would look great in a variety of rooms from the hallway, to the living room or bedroom, not only as an ornamental piece but also a useful storage chest.

Height = 65cm or 25½” or 2ft 1½”
Width (Lid) = 120.5cm or 47⅜” or 3ft 11⅜”
Depth (Lid) = 54cm or 21¼” or 1ft 9¼”

Free UK Delivery*:
We offer free delivery to mainland England, Wales, and Southern Scotland (anywhere south of Stirling). *We do not offer free delivery to locations north of Stirling in Scotland, Northern Ireland, or any British Islands off the mainland; for example, the Isle of Man, Isle of White and Channel Islands. If you live in one of the areas where we do not offer free delivery, please contact us for a delivery quote before purchasing the item. Delivery will be made by our specialised antique furniture delivery service, or in some cases we will use a courier service for distant deliveries.

Delivery times are usually 1-4 weeks depending on location; we aim to deliver the majority of items within 2 weeks. All items are professionally packaged and fully insured in transit, therefore, we can assure you, your items will be securely protected in transit and arrive safely with you.

Once you have purchased an item, we will contact you by email and/or telephone and provide you with a provisional delivery date, in order for you to confirm if it is suitable for you. Once you have confirmed you can accept delivery on the provisional delivery date, we will book the delivery in with our shippers and it then becomes a confirmed delivery date.

We will also provide you with our shippers’ contact details, in case you need to contact the driver on the day of delivery. It’s helpful if you can provide us with both the landline and mobile telephone number, in case the driver cannot reach you on one of the numbers on the day of delivery, they can contact you on your alternative number.

In order to be able to offer you free delivery, it is based on a 1-man delivery only. For any large items that require 2 people to lift the item, we ask that you are available at the time of delivery to be able to give our shipper a lift off the van and into your house with the item. If you are not able to lift items yourself, we ask that you have someone on hand at the time of delivery to assist our shipper with lifting the item.

Free 14 Days UK Returns & Refunds:
A free 14-day “no quibble” returns policy (from the date you receive the item) is available if you are not happy with this item. We will collect the item free of charge from you (we do not charge a return fee / collection fee). You will be given a full refund as long as the item is returned in the same condition. We will collect returns using our own specialist furniture delivery company. We will not accept returns via a courier service (due to experience of damaged items in transit). This refund policy only applies to deliveries to the UK.

UK Buyer Payment:
For UK buyers, we accept cash on collection or delivery; cheque, credit card, BACS (free bank to bank transfer) or PayPal. Payment is requested within 5 days of the sale. Payment must be cleared before the items are collected or delivered.

International Buyers:
If you live outside the UK and you would like to purchase this item, please contact us before purchasing it, so that we can obtain an accurate shipping quote and delivery lead-time. The shipping quote provided is a global estimate only. The actual shipping cost will vary by country and postcode. Due to the distances and costs involved with shipping outside the UK, a returns policy is therefore not available for international buyers. Before placing your order(s) please make sure this is the item for you. We request payment by bank transfer (we do not accept payment via PayPal, credit or debit cards for international purchases). Payment is requested within 10 days of the purchase. Payment must be cleared before the items are collected or delivered to our shippers. The advertised price of the item does not include the shipping cost, sales tax, import duty or custom fees.

Important information regarding PayPal payment:
We only accept payment from fully verified PayPal account holders with confirmed addresses only. Items will only be sent to the confirmed address registered in PayPal. If you purchase an item and your address is not confirmed, your payment will be refunded and the purchase cancelled. It only takes a few moments to verify and confirm your PayPal details.

About the Seller:
This item is being sold by Yola Gray Antiques who is an accredited member of LAPADA (the UK’s largest Trade Association of Professional Art and Antique Dealers) and CINOA. CINOA is the world association of Art & Antique dealer associations. All LAPADA & CINOA members abide by their strict code of practice by adhering to reputable standards of quality, expertise and integrity.

Yola Gray has dealt in fine art and antique furniture for over 40 years. Yola Gray has a special interest in Colonial furniture, specifically Colonial Four Poster Beds. Yola Gray also provides a variety of fine English Antique Furniture, Art and Fabrics to clients in the UK, Europe and further afield.

Please visit the Yola Gray website at for further items and information.

Ref. 52800

Object Condition

Here is a fine quality antique English late 17th century oak mule chest, with a geometric panelled design, displaying a lovely colour, circa 1680 – 1720, in excellent condition. The chest has been wax-polished by hand in our workshop. Nominal old marks to the top, leading edges, tops, sides and front (see photos) but nothing significant considering the age of the item. Such old use marks are inevitable and perfectly acceptable due to its age and use it would have received. The interior is clean, dry, and usable. The steel butterfly hinges to the lid are old replacements. We believe the brass pear-drop handles and escutcheons to the two drawers are original. The chest includes working steel lever locks to move the main storage area and drawer (with working key). The chest stands on its original stiles (feet). The chest is well constructed, solid in joint and ready to use.

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

We are open weekly as follows:

8:00 - 17:00
8:00 - 17:00
8:00 - 17:00
8:00 - 17:00
8:00 - 17:00

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)1829 458 070
+44 (0)7960 738 212

Dealer Location

Unit 4
Organsdale Farm
United Kingdom

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