What Types of Furniture Have Hidden Compartments?


Quick Answer

Types of furniture that have hidden compartments include Aaron Burr desks and Japanese chests, or dansu, especially chests called funa-dansu, or sea chests. Tambour desks also have hidden compartments as do secretaries and cylinder bureaus from various different periods.

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Full Answer

The Aaron Burr desk at first looks like a simple, oval-topped side table, but then opens up to reveal a leather-upholstered seat and a drawer. The top is actually hinged so that it can fold out into a writing surface. Caster feet make the desk easy to both move around a room and unfold.

A Biedermeier sewing table has an octagonal top, a tapered pedestal support and splayed legs but when the top is opened there are compartments for sewing equipment such as spools and thread and a deeper space meant to hold knitting tools.

Tambour desks have sliding screens that hide multiple compartments. They are similar to roll top and cylinder desks except that these desks have fronts that roll up. Secretaries tend to be large pieces of furniture with drop fronts that create a writing surface. Behind the drop front are tills that hold writing tools.

The elaborately decorated Japanese sea chest has doors that open to reveal boxes and drawers and drawers within drawers and boxes within boxes to hold money and writing implements.

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