Circa 1750 – Why is a Mule Chest so called – was it really for carrying goods strapped to the back of a mule? The answer almost certainly has to be no. The earliest examples date from the 16th/17th. century and were popular right through the 18th. century as well. In essence it is a coffer with a hinged lid and two or three drawers under and raised on feet.
The term Mule may refer to the commonly used word for what we today call slippers and the drawers were for keeping ones mules in. The example shown above is very much a mid 18th. century example executed in fine Mahogany with the original carrying handles to the sides. Without the drawers it would have been difficult to retrieve items from the bottom of a coffer of these dimensions. It is also possible that this could have been made to house the family silver when not in use and there are marks on the inside where it could have had a removable tray or trays as well.
H:33”,84 cms, W:48”,122 cms, D:22”,56 cms.