Ted Coles has a query about his old tool chest.

Ted Coles tool chest 1

 
Ted  was under the illusion that it was made by and for the use of a Joiner/Cabinetmaker, but now he is not so sure because his small collection of moulding planes will not stand upright in the bottom of it. The space between the bottom of the chest and the bottom of the lower till drawer is only 8 and a quarter inches, which is not enough to fit a moulding plane of 9 and a half inches. As you can see in this first picture , there isn't sufficient space for a moulding plane to stand upright in the bottom of the chest [the tills on the right have been removed for the sake of taking this pic] and this is rather puzzling.
 
Ted Coles tool chest 2
 
The chest is a very large one and it weighs about 160lbs without tools. Measurements are 23 and a half inches [front to back] ... 37 and a half inches [long] ... 23 and a half inches [high]. Construction of tills and carcass appears to be of walnut throughout. 
 
Ted would be grateful for any thoughts. 
 
Following the correspondence in the comments section,Ted has provided some more photos of the chest.  There is also a photo of an English mallet which is contemporary with the Studley Chest. 
 
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Comments   

#1 Vernon Ward 2017-03-04 20:59
There are a couple of clues that may or may not aide in identifying the trade; first, the bales or handles are very reminiscent of sea chests and second, the drawer pulls also are more marine in nature. If these clues are valid then the tradesman was probably a shipwright (or a ship's carpenter). I'm shooting in the dark here, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt.
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#2 Ted Cole 2017-03-07 10:46
[quote name="Vernon Ward"]There are a couple of clues that may or may not aide in identifying the trade

Hi Vernon, Sorry not to have replied earlier but I've only just seen your message.
I've recently been in touch with the previous owner (who hails from St Annes, Lancashire) and he has sent me this further information on the chest. ..... 'I have been advised this is a shipbuilders chest, with the heavyweight iron banding, recessed brass lift up lid handle, Large iron carry handles it seems to be a campaign type construction'. So, your idea that 'the tradesman was probably a shipwright or a ship's carpenter' would tie in nicely with the above. He also stated that the chest dates from around the 1860s and that he vaguely remembered a suggestion of the chest having a connection with the Barnum Circus family. Don't know what to think about that one.
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#3 Peter Young 2017-03-09 11:25
Hello Ted,
I have two chests with similar features to yours.They have this pattern of handle,lid lift and iron banding on the lid. The first is much smaller (311/2"x201/2"x21"H) and is a carriage makers chest with tool kit and key stamped L.N.E.R. so must date between 1923 and 1947. Inside there is a similar arrangement of trays but with the wider ones at the back. I notice your photo shows the finger holes for the slide and this is also repeated on both my examples. There are no pulls on the front of the trays: one simply slides them forward. The lid has a very elaborate arrangement of panelling. The second example I have is nearer the size of yours (311/2" x 23" x221/2"H) and has the same arrangement of trays etc as the carriage builders. The inside of the lid is veneered and has some lining in red paint which may again point to the same trade as lining-in and sign-writing was used on the carriages. I have been told that the L.N.E.R. provided such chests for their employees.
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#4 Ted Cole 2017-03-09 16:36
Hi, Peter,
The tills actually operate better with the wider ones at the back and this is the way that they are set up now. Unfortunately, I can't see a way to post another image or two. I would really love to see some pics of your tool chests, though.
Many thanks for the information you have so kindly given
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#5 Peter Young 2017-03-10 12:02
Give me a couple of daysTed, and I'll see about some pics.
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#6 Ted Cole 2017-03-10 12:22
Quoting Peter Young:
Give me a couple of daysTed, and I'll see about some pics.

Many thanks, Peter.
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#7 Ted Cole 2017-03-10 12:59
Bob Evans,
Many thanks, Bob, but it seems that I'm unable to send more pics or even an email; my virgin email service appears to be having yet another off day.
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#8 Peter Young 2017-03-12 20:40
Hi Ted,
Haven't been able to upload pics in the "comments" so far!!??. Sorry. Is there a way of doing it?
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#9 Ted Cole 2017-03-12 22:49
Hi Peter,
I couldn't find any way to add extra pics, but the webmaster, Bob Evans, very kindly emailed me to send them to him and he posted them for me.
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