19th Century Brass Sheet and Studded Zanzibar Chest with Secret Compartments
A rare 19th century Zanzibar chest outfitted with pierced brass sheets and brass studs in a stunning design on the front, sides and top. Dowry chests have a well-documented history as icons of the Eastern Hemisphere. A chest was essential in a marriage agreement, and the style and size often served as a status symbol of the bride's family. The chest became an integral piece of furniture in the new couple's home, usually being used as a table or bench. This style of chest comes from the unique era of Omani-occupied Zanzibar, where they were often used in the export of spices, rugs, and silks in the 18th and 19th centuries.
This chest is structurally great, cosmetically, in good condition. Nearly the entire front is covered in pierced brass sheets, which has a heavy patina. It's almost difficult to tell the brass apart from the wood in the photos. Brass could be polished if desires. There may be brass studs missing, and the wood does show scuffing. Please review the detail photos carefully. Price reflects these defects.
The four bottom drawers of this chest are each shortened, leaving about 2" of space at the very back to act as a secret compartment.
4 Bottom Drawers Interior: