If you were an able seaman 200 years ago, shipping out on a whaling voyage from Nantucket, or even on a crack clipper journey around the Horn to California, you would have carried your worldly belongings aboard-ship in a sea chest. If your ship were caught in the doldrums, the sails flapping loosely for days on end while the skipper waited for wind, you might have wiled away the hours by carving a design on the front of your chest.

We are pleased to offer a genuine solid-wood, wide-board, all-dovetail handcarved sea chest in Honduran mahogany or longleaf cedar. The classic slant-front design stems from the need for Customs officials to easily open the chests, when stacked closely on deck for inspection. The long-tail steel hinges are hand forged, and the beckets (handles) are hand-knotted of cotton twine.

The fronts of our sea chests are fully carved with the famous clipper ship “Southern Cross” under full sail; Or with the nostalgic “Lobstering” depicting a dory lobsterman pulling his traps. A banner beneath the carving can also be carved with the customer’s name. Or, we can carve the front of the sea chest with a one-of-a-kind scene from a drawing provided by our customer.

These handsome chests find many uses in the modern home. They double as a coffee table, toy box, or tool storage. If made from aromatic cedar, they make an excellent blanket chest. An inner compartment with sliding lid provides a place for safekeeping small items.

A miniature chest of the same pattern is also available, suitable for a dresser-top jewelry box or for children’s special treasures.

For Naval retirement gifts, we offer the sea chest with a full-length removable interior tray instead of the small compartment. The sides of the tray are rabbeted to accept a glass or plexiglass cover, so the customer can use it as a shadow-box to display special items.

On all Sea chest orders, please specify clipper ship or lobstering scene; and name to be carved on banner if desired.

Sea Chest shown with Clipper Ship “Southern Cross” front panel carving, and a personalized banner.

Item Size in inches
Sea chest, full size, Finished w. Shellac over natural wood color 41L x 19H x 20 W
Sea chest, full size, Unfinished 41L x 19H x 20 W

Mini Sea Chest