Small George III mahogany dressing bachelor’s chest

Small and rare English mahogany dressing or bachelor’s chest, with secret compartments. Ca 1760.

ONLY 2’6″ wide
20″ deep
32″ high.

This item is now sold


An English mahogany dressing / bachelor’s chest with multiple secret compartments. Circa 1760.
Of excellent colour and patination.

This George III period chest of drawers is a fine, small and rare example of the ingenious combination of 18th century practicality and refinement. The hinged rising top reveals an arrangement of fitted, lidded and secret compartments to receive the various articles required by a gentleman ‘at the toilette’, with an adjustable rising mirror supported on a ratchet. Unusually there is a further rising adjustable slope concealed within a recess, also supported by a ratchet. The top has double re-entrant corners – a sure sign of pre-eminent quality.

All in fine figured mahogany of superb color and surfaces, with best quality English oak linings and dovetailing throughout.
When closed this antique dressing chest reverts to the form of a bachelor chest, with the working brushing slide located below the top drawer, which is simulated. Below are three graduated, cockbeaded working drawers. Raised on bracket feet and retaining all the original ‘bat wing’ brass mounts.

ONLY 2’6″ wide
20″ deep
32″ high.

2’6″ antique English mahogany bachelor’s (or bachelor) chests are to be found, but as fully fitted dressing chests these are very rare – particularly when of these small proportions. An ideal piece for a discerning collector.
It is not often that we encounter an example of these surviving for 250 plus years in such lovely state.

For literature demonstrating the very similar fittings of a Georgian dressing chest vis:
R. W. Symonds, ‘The Present State of Old English Furniture’ (1921) fig. 92 (second edition published in 1927).
P. Macquoid and R. Edwards CBE FSA, ‘The Dictionary of English Furniture’ (Hamlyn, London, 1927) vol. 111, p. 218, fig. 10.
R. W. Symonds, ‘English Furniture from Charles II to George II’ (London, 1929) p. 183, figs. 140-142.
R. W. Symonds, ‘Furniture in the Collection of Mr. Geoffrey Blackwell’ (Apollo, April 1936) fig. VII.

A similarly fitted dressing chest, circa 1770, was offered in Messrs. Malletts Bourdon House Sale Catalogue, 9th March 2007, lot 574 @ £20,000-£30,000.

Additional information

Dimensions 76 × 81 cm