This Genuine Antique Walnut Dowry or Blanket Chest is of Canadian manufacture and carries the label Chesley Chair Co. Ltd., makers of Heirloom Chest. It was manufactured approximately 1910.

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This Genuine Antique Walnut Dowry or Blanket Chest is of Canadian manufacture and carries the label on the inside lid for the furniture company of Chesley Chair Company Limited, Ontario. It has cabriole legs with cedar interior liner. It is solid walnut and has no veneer. Both sides and front have scalloped applied panels. The two front panel decoration is divided by a narrow vertical scroll applied panel. The top has a terraced lid and opens upward. All four sides at the bottom of the chest have a scalloped apron.

COMMENT: This elegant antique walnut dowry chest may be also referred to as a blanket chest. It is ideal to rest at the foot of a bed. Yet the simplicity and clean lines can also determine that it may also be used anywhere in one's living space as a great decorator piece of furniture. Just charming!

FURNITURE COMPANY & HISTORY: Chesley Chair Company Limited, Chesley, Ontario, Canada.

Chesley ChairWolfle Chair Company Ltd.

had its beginnings in October 1909 in the form of the Wolfle Chair Company Limited. The Provisional Directors were: Levi Wolfle, Conrad Krug, Henry Ankenman, John Krug, William Krug, Christian Krug and George Krug. The Factory building was completed in the Fall of 1909 and furniture manufacturing operations commenced. By March of 1910 it was apparent that the young company was experiencing some financial difficulty and a re-organization became necessary. Additional new stock was sold and the name changed in May 1910 to the Chesley Chair Company Limited. M.E. Boos and Louis Asmus became shareholders at this time and played a prominent part in the early development of the company. New bank accommodation was obtained and the company continued its struggle until 1912 when it again became apparent that further financial assistance would be required.

In March 1912 considerable financing was provided by Krug Brothers Company Limited to keep the struggling company in operation and an arrangement was made to supply Krug Brothers with dining room chairs. Difficulties continued to plague the company during the next year and in August 1913 Mr. Asmus sold his interest to Mr. Conrad Krug who succeeded as President. Mr. C.R. Ankenman was appointed Secretary-Treasurer on August 15, 1913. W.G. Krug and C.R. Ankenman purchased the interests of Conrad Krug in February 1914 and W.G. Krug became a Director of the company. The new addition to the plant comprising the east half of the main building was completed in March. In August, a lighting generator was purchased and put into service with a steam engine supplying the motive power.

During these most difficult years many furniture companies were forced out of business because of the fierce competition in a greatly reduced market. This company operated for many years with reduced staff through the worst of the depression but emerged with new competitive strength and experience for the years ahead. The office addition was built during 1940-41 but further improvements had to be held in abeyance until the post-war years. During the war period, the company again played its part in assisting the cause. The most significant work, probably, was the manufacture of wooden parts for the famed Mosquito Bomber. For the first time, female help was enlisted on a large scale to keep production at a high level. With the end of hostilities in 1945, employees who had seen service with the armed forces returned and favourable business conditions kept the plant at full capacity and employment for several years. R.D. Ankenman, the son of C.R. Ankenman and the grandson of Henry Ankenman, one of the founders of the company, joined the firm in February 1946.

Major improvements to both the plant and machinery were undertaken in the post-war period as materials and machinery again became available. A new boiler was installed in  1948 and the complete heating system rebuilt. In 1949 the ling shaft was replaced by motorized machines and in 1951-52 the lumber yard was completely renovated with new trackage and layout. A new dry kiln was built and the old drying units converted to dry storage buildings. A program of equipment improvement and renewal on a regular basis was in effect since this period.

In June 1963 a company reorganization took place and the assets of the Chesley Chair Company Limited were acquired by the new company, Heirloom of Canada Limited. There was no change in management. In August 1965 the property and plant formerly known as the Chesley Manufacturing Company Limited was acquired. Extensive renovations were undertaken in this 35,000 sq. ft. building to provide the company with a very efficient warehousing facility. With this new acquisition, the total factory area increased to 85,000 sq. ft. When inventories of stock were moved to the new location, considerable space became available in the main plant for expanded production facilities and output began to increase steadily.

In 1976 plant #2 was further improved with the addition of fully equipped upholstering and veneering departments eliminating the need to purchase these requirements from other sources. Chesley Manufacturing Company Chesley The Chesley Manufacturing Company was built in 1907. At that time it was called Chesley Furniture Co., with tables as their chief output. In 1948 they were manufacturing fine furniture. In August 1965 the property and plant of the Chesley Manufacturing Company Limited was acquired by the Chesley Chair Company/Heirloom of Canada. Chesley Rake Chair Chesley Chair Co. / Heirloom of Canada Ltd.

This information is taken from the Bruce County Museum:Furniture Factories OR  Furniture Factories PDF.

This company is still operating under another name. Thanks to one of my readers, Lisa Alberico. For more info check out this link:


Length: 44.75" (left to right)
Width:  21.25" (front to back)
Total Height: 31" (Chest with legs, from floor to top)

Overall condition is great. It has been refinished.


PRICE: $775.00

SALE PRICE: $525.00

Special Note:

Furniture and Lighting items can only be purchased at our store located at 1646 Queen St West Toronto, Ontario.


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1646 Queen St. W., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M6R 1B2

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