Many young ladies today don't even know what a hope chest is.
For those that don't know, a hope chest is a piece of furniture, basically a chest, that contains household linen, clothing, or anything a young lady might need to set up her household, in preparation for her marriage.
Women would generally get their hope chest between courting a man and an engagement.
Other names for hope chest in the USA are dowry chest, trousseau chest or cedar chest.
In the United Kingdom they referred to it as a "bottom drawer", they put aside the bottom drawer in their chest of drawers for their collection.
Women in Australia refer to it as a "glory box".
This was a customary gift in the Amish community and they refer to it as a wedding chest. It would be given to the bride & groom.
Because brides leave home when they marry, the hope chest was made to be portable.
What sort of items would go into the home chest?
- Young ladies would do needlework or other artwork and place it in the box for wall hanging in their future homes.
- Clothing, such as a pretty/special dress,
- Table and bed linens, quilts, blankets, dishware, bake-ware, kitchen items, or a pretty apron.
I think a hope chest is a perfect gift for a young lady approaching a marriageable age.
I particularly like this Coaster Bench Wood Storage Bench. It has a dual purpose. Not only can the young lady store her dowry items but she will now have a seating area in her new home.
Here is a link for some hope chest showing you what they look like. There is a large variety of styles and colors to chose from.