The taste or style (or lack of it) of the hollowed tree-trunks of far back in the Middle Ages was probably founded upon (1) necessity, (2) usefulness, (3) the primitive tools of that day, and (4) the fact that there was no previous furniture from which their primitive imaginations might wander to other things.
But let us doff our hats to those people of the past, for their age represents the birth-time of our English furniture. Later in the Middle Ages, when our forbears were learning how to work up wood, the chest must have stood as a standard from which a new style was to evolve. When it had evolved, and chests were seen for the first time, they must have been regarded as not being far removed from the miraculous.
Probably that was the greatest change in furniture that has been made in its history.
— The Woodworker, April 1933