Many had candle boxes inside - some with extra storage draws to keep flint and steel or the new fangled lucifer matches. In times past young girls were given a blanket box (glory box or hope chest) as a place to keep the things she had saved for married life.
A good number of original blanket boxes are still in use today and are a testament to the craftsmen that made them.
Sadly the ones offered for sale are often neglected pieces, riddled with woodworm or just 150 years of wear and tear.
Today's new blanket boxes are either sad flat pack shadows of their ancestors or just very expensive.
In our wifi enabled world the demand for functional, quality, storage has not diminished. Still used as blanket boxes these great pieces of pine furniture are now also widely used as coffee tables, toy boxes, window seats, hope chests etc.
I wanted a blanket box made with Victorian craftsmanship that looked as if it had just come out of the workshop.
I wanted one that would last so that it would be my daughters toy box, as she grew older her blanket box and finally when she got her own place her first coffee table.
The problem is of course that no one makes them anymore.
Blanket boxes have been around in some form or another for hundreds of years. The average family living in Victorian England had no closet or chest of draws to keep clothes in. The blanket box was the single most utilitarian storage solution available in Victorian Britain.
These were often kept at the end of the bed so that extra blankets were easily available on chilly nights and clothes right at hand in the morning.
The original blanket boxes were hand built from seasoned pine. Dovetail joints secured the main structure and a sturdy plank lid and base made these incredibly strong and long lasting. Cast iron handles and hinges were secured with the only screws used in construction. Sometimes a decorative plinth was added to the base or around the lid to protect against knocks and bumps.