|The Completed Chest|
As stated above, this was primarily an English form, but American examples do exist that would fit all of the criteria for a bachelor's chest. The chest I worked on exhibited some of the characteristics of a bachelor's chest and was called a bachelor's chest in the auction listing that it was sold under. Here is a link to that listing:
One thing that is for certain is that this is an American chest that was probably made in Upper Massachusetts or New Hampshire in the early part of the 19th century. The chest is made primarily of Mahogany and the drawer fronts are veneered with bookmatched panels of figured satinwood. The bookmatched veneer is framed with banding of alternating light and ebonised woods, probably holly. The top edge and skirt are banded with vertically oriented rosewood framed with holly.
The sides had an incomplete set of lifting handles which appeared to be original and the brass pulls, while looking quite authentic, were replaced at some point. As seen in some pieces, all of the drawers had inlaid brass escutcheons but only the top two drawers were equipped with locks. The locks appeared to be original to the piece.
Below is a photo of the chest as it was when it came to the shop.
The skirt of the chest was made of mahogany with an inlayed band of vertically oriented rosewood that was framed by holly. The skirt was not integral to the sides, but was applied with the grain running vertically, like the sides. Over time the skirt had broken into sections and had loosened up. Past repair showed that it was nailed back in place, which in the long term was not very effective. As a result, much of the skirt was loose and a large portion was missing and had to be recreated. Below is a photo of a section of the skirting followed by a close up of the banding.