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When it comes to building chests of drawers, most examples I’ve seen since the 18th century and later have drawers that graduate from top to bottom.

Bigger drawers at the bottom; smaller drawers at the top.

This arrangement wasn’t always the case: 17th-century chests of drawers would commonly alternate shallow and deep drawers – deep, then shallow, then deep, then shallow. Read David Knell’s “English Country Furniture 1500-1900” for more on this topic.

Recently as I’ve been wading through hundreds (thousands?) of images of campaign furniture my own expectations about graduated drawers have rebooted. Campaign chests in particular regularly violate my modern expectations about graduated drawer sizes.

And now I’d like to violate your expectations as well.

Below is a gallery of a small sample of images I’ve collected on campaign chests.


 

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