Friday, 1 July 2011

My Great Great Grandfather's Chest

Yes - it's that old.  My Great Great Grandfather, John Boyd Graham, made this chest to transport his belongings when he emigrated from Scotland to Australia back in the 1830's.

It was handed down through family members until it ended up with my grandmother.  It had been painted white when it was used as my mother's glory box, and was later painted black to give it a 'modern look' (cringe).

The chest when I got it from my Grandmother

When I was 21 I asked my grandmother if I could have it and set about stripping it back to bare timber.  It had become damaged over the years and my grandfather had replaced some of the timber around the top edge.  He also made two storage boxes that sit inside the chest.

The Chest Today

Rope Handles

Clapham Common covered in Snow

This chest has travelled with me from Melbourne, to Sydney, to Brisbane, to London and back to Brisbane.  I love the worn timber and hand spliced rope handles.  I love the history that belongs to this chest and I hope that one day my children will feel the same way about it as I do.

Sharing this with

Cindy at My Romantic Home - Show & Tell Friday
Perfectly Imperfect - All Things Furniture
Courtney at French Country Cottage - Feathered Nest Friday
Miss Mustard Seed - Furniture Feature Friday


  1. Love the fact that you stripped the black off. So many people nowadays paint everything. I know there are discussions for and against painting, but in this case, I think you did the right thing, replicating what your ancestor had created. What a wonderful heirloom.

  2. I love how your grandfather's chest looks with all the paint stripped off. What a wonderful family treasure!

    Thanks for stopping by and for your nice comment about my table :)


  3. Visiting from your link at A Beach Cottage and I love your story! I, too, have my grandfather's sea chest that he brought with him when he came to the USA from Italy in the very early 1900s. Such a treasure. Hope to refinish mine soon back to natural wood from red!

    Guerrina in CT (New England)

  4. My G.G. Grandfather was also a John Boyd Graham, born in Falkirk, Scotland who emigrated to Australia prior to 1840. He married an Irish lady by the name of Anne Marie Hood. Any connection?

    Great page.

    Joy Jones (NZ)

  5. Hi Joy
    Yes - it's the same John Boyd Graham from Falkrik who married Anne Marie Hood. Apparently a couple of his sons did go to New Zealand so maybe you are from that line? My mum has a copy of the family tree and lots of other information on him. Please feel free to email me at my gmail account and I can put you in touch with Mum. She can fill you in on all the family pubs and stories.
    So glad you let us know of the connection.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...