As discussed in Wang Shixiang, Connoisseurship of Chinese Furniture: Ming and Early Qing Dynasties, vol. I, Hong Kong, 1990, p. 94, such chests would have been used to store long robes and dresses which were common during the Ming and Qing dynasties, hence the rectangular shape of the chest. In the book Lu Ban Jing Jiang Jia Jing (Lu Ban's Classic, A Mirror for Craftsmen, see K. Ruitenbeek, Carpentry and Building in Late Imperial China: A Study of the Fifteenth-Century Carpenters' Manual in Lu Ban Jing, Leiden, 1993), two passages describe the deep clothes trunk (yilong) and the medium-sized clothes trunk (yixiang).
A very similar chest in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum is illustrated and discussed by C. Clunas, Chinese Furniture, London, 1988, p. 90, fig. 78.
Compare a massive camphor wood storage chest, illustrated without its wood stand, formerly property of the Asia Society and prior to that, from the Inger Elliot Collection, and sold in these rooms, 21 September 2000, lot 12.