Dating: 18th century (?)
Material: Wood (Exotic & Pine) & Brass
Dimensions (cm): 53,8 x 91 x 46,5
Inv. no.: PD0426
According to Professor Rui Morais, the painting that adorns the chest clearly allegorizes the sea. On the left side, one may see Neptune (God of the Sea), son of Cronus and Rhea; on the left side, there is a representation of Venus (Goddess of eroticism, beauty and love) as she comes up naked from the foaming sea and sitting on a seashell.
The myth – symbolising the relationship between water and love, sensuality with fertility – seems to represent the union of Neptune and Venus out of which the Island of Rhodes was created.
One of the oldest pieces of furniture is the trunk with a lid resembling a box. It was used to store objects for personal use – like clothes or dishes – and even pieces of high value such as silverware or jewellery. Trunk and trunk-inspired pieces of furniture were easy to move, thus allowing the transportation of goods from one place to another.
Until the mid-1600s, trunks were the main form of storage. They were gradually replaced by pieces such as cabinets or dressers.
The Chest is a design development of the Trunk in that it has a curved lid to prevent rainwater from leaking inside and spoiling its contents.
This chest, due to its decorative motifs, indicates that it is an Engagement chest. It was used to store the trousseau of a young girl to be married. As such, it was a much-esteemed object for several generations.