A hope chest, dowry chest, cedar chest, or glory box is a chest used to collect items of clothing or household linen, by unmarried young women in anticipation of married life.
The term "hope chest" or "cedar chest" may be used primarily by Midwestern and Southern U.S. women, while "glory box" is used by women in the United Kingdom and Australia.
Through the years this piece of furniture has become a traditional gift given to young girls as they graduate high school or college.
The collection of a trousseau was a common coming-of-age rite until approximately the 1950s; it was typically a step on the road to marriage between courting a man and engagement. It wasn't always collected in a special chest, hence the alternative UK term bottom drawer, which refers to putting aside one drawer in a chest of drawers for collecting the trousseau undisturbed, but such a chest was an acceptable gift for a girl approaching a marriageable age. Such chests may have been inherited from their mother or female relatives. They are still a popular gift from woodworking fathers.
At Sam's WorkShop we understand and respect tradition. While we realize that things change and old ways often fall by the wayside we think that some things should never change. We like the "old fashioned" idea of a young woman preparing, planning and "dreaming" of the future. Collecting treasures and putting them away in preparation for her life as a wife and mother.
We also believe that there is no better way to store these treasures than the way young girls have been doing it for generations, in a hand made "Hope Chest". It is one of my very favorite things to build. Over the years I have designed and built quite a few of them. Check out some of my work here.
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