A Dower Chest is a term used to describe a type of chest or storage furniture that was traditionally given to a woman as part of her marriage dowry. It is a large, typically wooden chest that is used for storing personal belongings, such as clothing, linens, or precious items. The term dower refers to the portion of a mans estate or property that is designated for his wifes use in the event of his death. Dower chests often have decorative features and may be passed down through generations as a family heirloom. A chest for the plenishing of a prospective bride. A hope chest. In America there are two distinctive types: the Connecticut chest and the marriage chest of Pennsylvania.