If you were a revered military leader, whose victorious battle strategies were used as training materials by armed forces all over the world for centuries after you, you had served as prime minister twice and ended your career as commander-in-chief of the British army, you would be hard-pressed not to have things named after you. The Wellington chest is one of those things. It was invented and named after the Duke of Wellington, following his historic victory over Napoleon Bonaparte at the end of the hundred days in 1815 at Waterloo.
The Wellington chest is a tall, narrow storage chest, usually with 7 draws, one for every day of the week. They sometimes appear with more or less draws but always follow the same style with all the draws arranged, one on top of the other. Wellington chests were designed so that all the draws could be locked shut with one key in one lock. This was achieved by either a bar or a flap mechanism to prevent opening.
Some similar looking chests with cupboards, cubby-holes or shelves are known to have been converted by adding extra draws. However, these are not true Wellington chests and can most-easily be spotted by the lining in the added draws looking newer than the rest. True Wellington chests are highly sought-after mainly due to their compact size, in comparison to the total volume they can hold.
The most common woods used to make Wellington chests are mahogany, rosewood and walnut. They usually stand flat to the ground but sometimes have small feet, either made from brass, turned wood or carved wood and can be finished with carved or brass fixings.
Wellington chests were originally intended for living rooms, studies and drawing rooms, however, it is not uncommon to find them being used as bedroom furniture where the deep draws are great for storing clothes and the narrow design maximises precious space.
As found in the Oval Office of the White House and orginally a gift from the Queen of England - the American Presidents desk. Also referred to as the Resolute Desk.