In Medieval Portugal (13th-14th centuries) chests specific for transporting mattresses and bedding furnishings were called 'almafreixe' (term of Arabic origin).

In English I have found references to:
- chest: storage of clothes and other items
- casket: small portable chest for jewelery
- coffer: portable chest, sometimes large and with domed lids, sometimes small (e.g. money chest)

I would like to know if the Iberian 'almafreixe' has an equivalent in English, or if it would simply be called the 'bedding chest / coffer'.

P.S. The cassone does not fit the bill because it is of Italian origin, it was basically a trousseau and, as far as I know, it is from the Renaissence period.

2 Answers 2


I believe in English such a thing would commonly be called a "blanket box" tho I think these are generally more for storage than transportation. The ones we have in my home do have handles so I suppose they are fit for both purposes.

I have also heard used the terms "blanket chest" and "linen chest" which would imply larger size and/or greater sturdiness.

blanket box


Your description matches the spanish baúl, which Google translates as trunk.

Picture of baúl Another picture Here are a couple of pictures more. Note that, since the word baúl has been used not only in medieval times but also in modern ones, the item that it refers to has slightly changed in function and in modern times it is used almost exclusively for storage, so new designs look way more furniture than as a way of transporting belongings (for example, no handles or locks).

And one of the definitions of trunk from the online Cambridge dictionary (and others) is:

a large, strong container that is used for storing clothes and personal possessions, often when travelling or going to live in a new place

  • I hadn't thought of trunk. According to the etymological dictionary, it dates back to the 15th century and developed from the Old French 'tronc', meaning an alms box. The Spanish baúl also appears late, c. 16th century. Dec 20, 2016 at 8:22

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