What, you may ask is a bachelor's chest, or possibly, WHY is it a bachelor's chest?? Glad you asked!
Bachelor's chests are petite, shallow chests of drawers, generally with a built in writing surface or other thoughtful accoutrement. I've seen 18th century examples, though only English ones, so I'll have to ask my Antiques Dealer pals if they've ever handled an american first period one.
As to the why, well these easily transportable highly function pieces were meant for the quarters of unmarried men. In their current, unmarried living conditions, out earning a living and setting up what would in the future be a (hopefully) lucrative career, but not yet settled to a stately and furnished home, this was the perfect piece. It provides storage and a writing surface, but takes up little space and can rather easily be schlepped from boarding house to boarding house, or wherever the young man's journey might take him.
This is a second period bachelor's chest. Second period meaning not an early and rare antique of significant value from the late 18th or early 19th century, when we first see this form, but also not a recent reproduction. It is in fact near earning its own "antique" title, as it's likely about 80 years old, and anything over 100 can be formally called an antique by the discerning collector. I use the term 'antique' a little more loosely, because the only things I'm discerning about are whiskey and company.
Carl the Furniture Guy brought this cutie to me, along with a group of five or six other pieces of furniture. Would you believe every single piece has already been spoken for? Hot diggity! This mahogany bachelor's chest is going to a local client of mine who just recently purchase a secretary of mine that's almost the same age. We used the secretary as a color inspiration, and kept the original lovely oval brass pulls. Now it's elegant, and demure and classic and on it's way to a loving home!