Chest of drawers were developed from the coffer or chest, which was at the time the main piece of furniture used for storage.
The Elizabethian period saw that a chest with a drawer in the bottom for easier access had appeared. These chests with a drawer, or mule chests as they are known today were often profusely carved and inlaid with exotic wood and bone; being typical of much of the furniture from Elizabeth I’s and James I’s period.
As the 17th century drew on more drawers were added creating the chest of drawers as we know today.
By the late 17th century walnut and inlaid chests of drawers both in the solid and veneered were a popular alnernative to oak.
Walnut and oak chests of drawers were occasionally mounted on a decorative stand; with fine turned legs and flat wavey stretchers.
By the 18th century chest on stands were supported on cabriole shaped legs.
The next stage of development was putting a chest of drawers on top of another chest of drawers. From the early 18th century, the walnut and mahogany periods that followed these pieces of furniture were known as chest on chests or tallboys.