What Is a German Shrunk?

A German shrunk, or schrank, is a type of tall furniture that can be a combination of cabinetry, shelving, drawers and closets. Modern models may include space for a television or an entertainment center.

A shrunk can often take up an entire wall in a dining room or living room. It is commonly made of highly decorated wood.

German shrunks were originally used as hope chests in which future brides stored their collected dowry items. Because they were intended to be used regularly after the wedding, shrunks were often built in segments that could be easily transported to the couple’s new home.