Skip to main content
Want more images or videos?
Request additional images or videos from the seller
1 of 21

Monumental Antique Indian Dowry Chest

About the Item

A magnificent antique metal-bound solid teak wood damchiya marriage dowry chest with hidden compartments and beautifully aged patina! Hand-crafted in India in the 19th century, most likely for Rajasthan royalty, very large scale, having turned finials, hinged panel top with hand forged iron hasp, open interior, next to hidden three small valuable compartments with concealed access, paneled sides with iron strapwork, rings, x-form decorative elements, as well as a secret lower compartment with concealed door, over carved scalloped apron, on primitive wooden wheels. circa 1830 Please note, the hidden compartments can by design be difficult to access. HISTORY: The damchiya was made at the request of the bride's family in anticipation of the wedding. It contains the dowry, which is therefore all the property that the bride or the bride's family gives to her husband at the time of marriage. It is a practice still widespread in India, although officially prohibited. Traditionally, bride price could consist of silver, but also valuable textiles like silk saris, or gold or silver jewelry, or even brass pots. Nowadays, the dowry can very well materialize by the gift of a washing machine, or even a car! After the wedding, once the bride moved into her in-laws' house, the damchiya was often placed in the room of the newlyweds, as a quiet reminder of the newcomer to the household. It was then used as a storage space for bed linen, or for clothes. They are made of solid wood, with exotic wood species readily available in India, such as teak (sagwan in Hindi) or rosewood (sheesham in Hindi). Most damchiyas contain one or more compartments, sometimes even including a back door to keep more valuable items, such as jewelry or money, out of sight. Some hiding places are even hard to find! It has happened that our suppliers, after having themselves bought the damchiyas from private individuals, have found gold or particularly well-hidden jewels in these hiding places. PROVENANCE / ACQUISITION: From a prominent Dallas, Texas estate Acquired from highly reputable auction house Austin Auction Gallery, est.1983, Austin, Texas. Fine Antiques & Estates Auction catalog DIMENSIONS: (approx) 48" High, 65.5" Wide, 34" Deep Ideal size and proportions for a variety of different uses, including as a massive blanket chest or storage coffer, place a custom piece of glass over the top for use as a sideboard server buffet cupboard credenza or console table, wabi-sabi accent, simply display it as a stunning statement piece! CONDITION: A superb museum quality example, in very good original unrestored antique condition with nicely aged warm rustic heavily worn naturally distressed patina. Retaining original antique character and charm throughout, including scattered nicks, chips, minor losses, all wear consistent with age and indicative of use. Whatever was used as a primitive key has been lost to time. Strong, sturdy, stable, structurally sound. Presents well
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 48 in (121.92 cm)Width: 65.5 in (166.37 cm)Depth: 34 in (86.36 cm)
  • Style:
    Rustic (In the Style Of)
  • Materials and Techniques:
  • Place of Origin:
  • Period:
  • Date of Manufacture:
    circa 1830
  • Condition:
    Wear consistent with age and use. Minor losses. Very good original unrestored antique condition w/warm rustic heavily worn distressed patina. Retaining original antique character/charm throughout, scattered nicks, chips, minor losses, all wear consistent w/age & use. Strong, sturdy. Presents well.
  • Seller Location:
    Forney, TX
  • Reference Number:
    1stDibs: LU5977236461442
More From This SellerView All
  • 18th Century Dutch Baroque Period Carved Dowry Chest
    Located in Forney, TX
    An elaborately carved Baroque period Dutch dowry chest with beautifully aged warm rustic heavily distressed patina! Netherlands, 18th Century, with later elements, Renaissance taste...
    Category

    Antique 18th Century Dutch Baroque Blanket Chests

    Materials

    Iron

  • Antique Georgian Period Dovetailed Oak Mule Chest
    Located in Forney, TX
    A Georgian era (1714-1837) English oak mule chest. Born in the late 18th / early 19th century, during the reign of King George III (1760-1820), fine quality craftsmanship and constr...
    Category

    Antique Late 18th Century George III Blanket Chests

    Materials

    Brass, Iron

  • Antique Country Swiss Immigrants Trunk Folk Painted Blanket Chest
    Located in Forney, TX
    A rare, one-of-a-kind antique, circa 1860, country Swiss folk decorated wood immigrant's travel trunk. Handmade in the Meilen region of Zürich, Switzerland, in the mid-19th century, crafted of solid oak and pine, rectangular steamer chest...
    Category

    Antique Mid-19th Century Swiss Country Blanket Chests

    Materials

    Iron

  • Antique Spanish Colonial Period Leather Carved Cedar Travel Chest
    Located in Forney, TX
    A scarce 300-year-old Spanish Colonial period leather clad and carved travel chest with beautifully aged patina. circa 1725 Born in the first half o...
    Category

    Antique 17th Century Spanish Colonial Blanket Chests

    Materials

    Iron

  • Monumental Swedish Neoclassical Hand Painted Dowry Chest
    Located in Forney, TX
    A magnificently decorated mid-19th century Swedish hand crafted and painted pine wedding dowry chest, dated 1855. This large and impressive che...
    Category

    Antique Mid-19th Century Neoclassical Trunks and Luggage

    Materials

    Pine, Paint

  • Monumental 19th Century Chinese Wedding Dowry Chest
    Located in Forney, TX
    A phenomenal hand carved and painted wooden antique wedding dowry stacked drawer carriage chest from China. Commissioned in the 19th century to commemora...
    Category

    Antique 19th Century Chinese Qing Wardrobes and Armoires

    Materials

    Lacquer, Paint, Wood

You May Also Like
  • Massive Antique Indian Carved Wood Dowry Chest
    Located in Bridgeport, CT
    The entire chest with framed square panels in three rows on the top, and four on the front, sides, and back. The front panels have added X form decorative pieces and all frames have ...
    Category

    Antique 19th Century Indian Rustic Blanket Chests

    Materials

    Iron

  • Antique Latvian Dowry Chest
    By Ken Petersen
    Located in Los Angeles, CA
    Beautifully painted Latvian wedding chest with symbolic "tree of life" motif with flowers, butterflies and carved sun-bursts. This chest has the original lock but the key is missing.
    Category

    Antique 19th Century Latvian Country Blanket Chests

    Materials

    Wood

  • Monumental Antique Georgian Joined Oak Mule Dowry Chest Coffer Yorkshire 1720
    Located in Portland, OR
    A very good, monumental antique oak mule chest, dowry coffer, Yorkshire, England circa 1720. This chest is of very unusual large size, the lift up lid enclosing a substantial storage...
    Category

    Antique 1720s English George I Blanket Chests

    Materials

    Oak

  • Antique Monumental German Carved Oak Baroque Marquetry Dowry Chest Coffer 1723
    Located in Portland, OR
    A rare & monumental antique German Baroque early 18th century dowry chest/coffer, named & dated 1723. The chest of a rare & unusual size, the top with a lift up lid with hand-forged ...
    Category

    Antique 1720s German Baroque Blanket Chests

    Materials

    Iron

  • Antique circa 1900 Indian Teluga Kavidpetti Marriage Dowry Campaign Chest Wheels
    Located in GB
    We are delighted to offer for sale this lovely antique circa 1880-1900 Indian Teluga Kavidpetti Marriage Dowry chest with campaign handles and original wooden wheels A very well made and decorative chest, designed as a dowry piece to be given by the father of the bride in an Indian wedding, you would have gold, jewellery, land deeds...
    Category

    Antique Early 1900s Indian Arts and Crafts Trunks and Luggage

    Materials

    Iron

  • Dowry Chest, circa 1874
    Located in Los Angeles, CA
    Painted hope chest with stylized "Tree of Life," dated 1874. The style of this chest is typical of the late 1700s, so it is likely that it was passed down through generations and rec...
    Category

    Antique 19th Century Latvian Baltic Blanket Chests

    Materials

    Wood

Recently Viewed

View All