The bottom drawer is traditionally the place that a young unmarried woman would put things to use when she was married. It was literally the bottom drawer in a chest of drawers. And it was probably in her bedroom.
Moreover, it had a lot of significance to a woman who dreamed of being married. It was a practical way of laying the foundations for her marriage. When she eventually married she would have things the home needed.
Do people still fill the bottom drawer? Well maybe people no longer put things away in the bottom drawer, but romance is not dead. And it will not be as long as people have hearts that dream.
Why it was the bottom drawer and not the top drawer or the the middle drawer? Well that was simply the least used drawer. So things could go there ready but least disturbed.
Furthermore, the act of making practical preparation for marriage gave symbolic meaning to marriage itself. Which begs the question of what goes into the bottom drawer.
What Goes Into The Bottom Drawer
That could be anything from mugs to bedsheets, to towels, to tablecloths, to a little picture frame. The balance would be towards practical things that the couple would need.
And young women who filled their bottom drawers with ornaments would be thought of as immature. Naturally, that meant that the person was not ready for marriage. The main requirement was to evidence maturity and practicality.
But there had to be room for sentiment or else there would be no romance.
Still, most of the things would be practical. In fact, buying them ahead of time was to show that the woman had her feet on the ground.
A Chest Of Drawers
The origin of the chest of drawers is lost in the mists of time. Who can say for certain when someone somewhere put a stack of drawers in a frame?
And what was put in that first chest of drawers? Was it used by the maker or made on commission for someone with the means to pay for it? Was it used for storing clothes or something else?
It almost seems inevitable that it would be put in the bedroom and used for storing clothes. But perhaps it was originally used for some other purpose?
And when did it get its name as a chest of drawers? Put a set of shelves above it and move it into the kitchen, and it is Welsh Dresser. In American English a chest or drawers is called a dresser.
Before chests of drawers there was the coffer, meaning a box with a lid. And the word coffer dates from the mid-13th century. At that time it meant a box or a chest for keeping valuable items.
The word comes from the Old French word cofre, meaning a chest. That in turn came from the Latin word cophinus, meaning a basket. And that is related to the word that came through to English as coffin.
A Heart In A Frame
The picture frame on the chest of drawers in our card is a link to romance and love. That frame may have been in the bottom drawer before the marriage.
If you are interested, this is how I made the card with the heart in the picture frame. I drew the top and sides of the chest, and the drawers as different layers directly by hand in Photoshop.
Then I added a wood grain effect to the frame and the drawers. And to give it depth I added a pale beige carpet. That was to represent the floor and the corner of the room.
Finally, I imported it into our greeting card template and topped the sketch off with the words Happy Anniversary’.
Tip: Click the image of the card and it will take you right to the card. Or click this Drawers Anniversary Card link.