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Lane Cedar Chests

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On the hunt for an authentic heirloom to add heart to your home? If so, be sure to check out our collection of antique Lane cedar chests. These charming chests are the gold standard when it comes to beloved, hand-me-down antiques.

Also known as Hope chests, Lane cedar chests come in a wide array of styles, ranging from 1920’s Art Deco styles to 1960s Atomic-inspired styles. Here at Chairish, you can routinely find these iconic Lane cedar chests in our extensive online inventory.

Shop with us to discover waterfall Lane cedar chest styles, which feature eye-catching chevron wood inlays. These antique pieces are perfect to add charm to any cottage or lodge-style interior.

Discover Federal and Chippendale style chests that date to the 1960s, designed when colonial revival styles were all the rage.

You can also find cedar chests that were designed as part of Lane’s iconic Mid-Century Modern collections, including the Acclaim collection, Proclaim collection and more.

Search the full Lane Furniture collection at Chairish to discover matching pieces and to create a striking set. (Pro tip: Using our style filters makes easy work of sorting Art Deco chests from MCM chests. You can also easily shop by color, height, depth and price.)

DEBUNKING THE TRUNK: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LANE CEDAR CHESTS

Chests, with their ability to stow away beloved treasures and lock up heirlooms, have always held a certain mystique. While any chest can conjure up the privateer in us, Lane chests — with their solid cedar plank work and bevy of styles — hold special allure.

Produced from 1912 until 2001 by the Lane Furniture company in Altavista, Virginia, Lane cedar chests have always loomed large in the American zeitgeist. Be it their indelible construction or the nostalgia evoked by their past as Hope chests, Lane chests have long been America's ultimate cache-keepers.

The Beginning: The Standard Red Cedar Chest Company

Those looking to uncover the mysteries of these revered trunks should first know that Lane was originally tagged the Standard Red Cedar Chest Company. While even the most ardent of collectors are unlikely to find any chests that bear this original moniker, the name nonetheless underscores the company’s early aesthetic ambitions: rudimentary chests made from hardy slabs of red cedar, which would naturally help protect linens, wool and other clothing from moth or insect damage.

During its first six years of operation, the Standard Red Cedar Chest Company’s profits were thin and the company subsisted off apprenticing craftsmen (hence, the rudimentary chests).

Lane Furniture and WWI Wartime Supplies

The company received a break in the wake of WWI’s onset. By this time, the company had been renamed Lane Furniture in honor of its founder, Edward Hudson Lane.

The U.S. government, needing wartime supplies, drafted the company to craft pine ammunition boxes.

The Lane factory was located at a junction of the Virginian and Southern railways, meaning it had reliable access to the transport needed to ferry supplies in and out. This location was an obvious asset in uncertain times.

The ammunition box production oiled Lane’s operational procedures, making its post-war segue into commercial furniture a natural progression. Between the end of WWI and the beginning of WWII, Lane cemented its status as a household name and the premier maker of Hope chests.

Lane Sweetheart Chests

Deemed “The gift that starts the home" or “the gift that starts the love nest,” Lane cedar chests were designed as a hideaway for young women to stockpile home goods for marriage, including family heirlooms, textiles, china and more.

Lane bolstered its sales efforts with magazine marketing campaigns that touted Lane chests as an elevated promise ring. When WWII broke out, Lane chests became a standard deployment gift as departing soldiers purchased them for the girlfriends they were leaving behind.

Lane advertisements, some featuring a teenage Shirley Temple, bolstered the idea of a Lane cedar chest as the ultimate “symbol of love.”

The traditional Lane cedar chest may just be one of the most popular furniture pieces and its standard hinged lift top with a lock-and-key closure at one point was a household must-have.

Lane Chest Styles Branch Out

Lane cranked out chests to suit every style, ranging from rustic pine boxes and polished Art Deco trunks to elaborate Chippendale chests. Some came outfitted with multiple drawers and cushioned tops to allow them to also function as a bench.

The Lane chest evolved as the 20th century progressed and it began taking on the streamlined Danish Modern-inspired style.

A 1959 ad showcases a couple sipping coffee inside a Mid-Century Modern Lane chest, surrounded by all the chest’s collected homewares, as well as a sprite gray poodle wearing an engagement announcement.

Lane Furniture Extends Beyond Chests

In the 1950s, Lane expanded its catalog beyond chests. The company added side tables, coffee tables, beds, bureaus and more. Like Lane chests, Lane furniture collections were inspired by popular trends of the day, with designs ranging from Atomic to Brutalist. Lane also stayed true to its reputation as America’s sweetheart by producing a line of heart-shaped end tables.

With the rise of the counterculture in the 1960s and 1970s, the concept of the Lane cedar Hope chest fell out of favor. While Lane pedaled their chests well into the 1980s, their advertising efforts became more focused on the chest’s nostalgia. In 2001, almost a decade after Lane had been bought out by a larger brand, Lane Furniture officially shuttered.

Lane Chests Today

Today, antique Lane chests are being reimagined as charming playroom additions.

Reenergized with paint, Lane Hope chests are also a crafty way to optimize underutilized nooks like bay windows or recessed hallways. Mid-Century Modern chests outfitted with feet tend to be just the right height to function as an entryway bench.

Given that the majority of original Lane chests featured detailed inlays, many are prime candidates for two-tone paint rehabs. Whether you opt to keep some portions of the wood raw and complement with just one color or you employ two entirely new colors, a new color combo can enliven even the most time-worn of designs.

Questions & Answers

How many vintage lane cedar chests does Chairish have in stock?
We have 10+ vintage lane cedar chests in stock.
What are some popular lane cedar chest styles?
Popular lane cedar chest styles are Mid-Century Modern, American, and Chippendale.
What are the shipping options for lane cedar chests?
Lane cedar chests can be shipped to you, and many can be picked up locally.
Do you carry brown lane cedar chests?
We have lane cedar chests in popular colors including brown, coffee, and sienna.
Does Chairish have lane cedar chests on sale?
Yes! We have less than 10 lane cedar chests on sale.
What are some popular lane cedar chest brands?
We have lane cedar chests from popular brands such as Lane Furniture, Altavista Lane, and Lane brutalist.