drawer. Friday , March 31st , 2017 - 10:12:33 AM
The two common elements of these Hope Chests are the top closing lid and the dark wood staining or paint. Dark coloring was necessary for the design elements to stand out, especially for the inlaid motifs. Beautiful hardwoods of Walnut, Oak and Eastern Pine were mainly used in the construction of these finely crafted Blanket Chests during this early time period.
Blanket chests may not be considered a necessary piece of furniture to many in this day and age, but they were extremely necessary to families of the past eras. Many young women were given dowry chests to fill with necessary household items. They crafted quilts, blankets, crocheted items, baby clothes and bed linens to name a few. On their wedding day, these blanket chests were proudly placed on the wedding wagon for the newly weds to take to their home. Other young women did not receive a hope chest until their wedding day, but the chests were still filled with the many needed items to run a household.
The Dower Chest, better known as a Hope Chest or Blanket Chest in present time, is referred to by the Pennsylvania Dutch as Ausschteier Kischt. This piece of furniture is the most cherished and most representative of the Germanic Immigrants who came to live in Pennsylvania during the late 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries.Young girls between the ages of eight to ten were given Hope Chests inscribed with their names and usually the date of presentation. This storage chest was filled with household items that the girl made, was given or purchased in anticipation of her future marriage. On her wedding day, this completely filled Hope Chest was proudly placed in the "Wedding Wagon" to be taken to her new home. Items would have included blankets, bed linens, baby clothes, quilts and some family heirlooms.
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