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Leather-covered Jenny Lind

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    Posted 8 years ago

    (22 items)

    Here's a leather-covered Jenny Lind that I bought from Craigslist. The lady who sold it to me told me that it was dated 1840, but I have no idea why she thought that. I haven't found a date on it anywhere. I am interested in an estimate of the age. The leather isn't in great shape. It's pretty dry and it has a spot missing in the front and a couple of other very tiny spots missing. It has what appears to be steel bands that are painted a reddish-orange color that have brass buttons on them. I don't know if the band color is original but it doesn't appear that anything was ever done to this trunk. It has a brass lock. One handle is missing entirely. The other is there but the leather is missing on the outside of it. The interior paper lining is intact. My plan is to leave the leather and try to work to preserve it. Any tips on how to do that would be appreciated.

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    1. trunkman trunkman, 8 years ago
      That is a very nice Jenny Lind!!! I would simply paint that missing leather spot black and you would never notice it missing!! (you could steal a patch from the back and put on the front and paint the missing part black on the back -- so hard to find a matching leather texture) (Please note I am a bit of a "hack" with my trunks so you may want to wait for better advice) Most Jenny Linds come from the 1850's and up -- this one looks like from around that period. Not sure what is going on with the banding color but it has a great look to it nonetheless. Nice addition to your collection!! (I mink oil my leather -- lots of conflicting advice on how to treat it, so I just do what I've always done!)
    2. myoldkyhome myoldkyhome, 8 years ago
      Thanks again, Trunkman. I hadn't thought about painting the spot black but that would work. I don't do everything perfectly when i refinish either. Hadn't heard of the mink oil either. I cleaned it with some saddle soap. It was filthy. The person had it inside her house (but let's just say she won't be featured in Good Housekeeping). So, the trunk was really dirty. After the soap, I put some neatsfoot oil on it. That has helped but wondered what others do that might help more.
    3. trunkingforfun, 8 years ago
      Blunderbuss has proposed Carauba wax, the main ingredient in shoe polish. I do not know how or if this may help. I am interested to hear back from you if you try it. I have had very good results with using it to finish a wooden trunk. What a great score!
    4. myoldkyhome myoldkyhome, 8 years ago
      Thanks trunkingforfun. I'll have to check that out.
    5. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 8 years ago
      Hi, I like your Jenny Lind trunk. These have always been one of my favorite styles of trunks and I've done a lot of research on them. They were made in the U.S. from about 1850 and until about 1870. I would expect most of them were from the 1850's to mid 1860's. You rarely find a date on these trunks unless it's on a tag or card tacked on the trunk. Many trunk makers made them and some have maker's labels while others don't. I have one very much like yours and it was actually used by a Civil War officer from Ohio and I was able to trace the history of it so all I know for certain is that it was made before or near the beginning of the war. I have tried a variety of things on the old leather and now I recommend either mink oil polish, which you can buy in many stores. I also like Dr. Jackson's Leather Preservative which is sold by Tandy Leather company. The brass buttons clean up pretty easily with fine steel wool if you like them to shine more. Enjoy using your great antique trunk!
    6. myoldkyhome myoldkyhome, 8 years ago
      Thanks for the information TrunkerMarvin. That's pretty incredible that you have a trunk belonging to a Civil War officer and you were able to trace its history. Those kinds of things don't happen very often. Thanks for the tips on the leather. I have another large hide-covered trunk and was looking for something better for it, too. I'm definitely going to polish the brass buttons. I think that will make a big difference.
    7. jscott0363 jscott0363, 7 years ago
      myoldkyhome, that is an amazing looking JL. I love the leather covered trunks like this with all of the nice embossing in the leather. For you to find one in such pristine condition, as this, is remarkable!! Excellent find!!
      BTW, judging by your username, you must be in Bardstown. I am too!!
    8. myoldkyhome myoldkyhome, 7 years ago
      Thanks jscott0363! Yes, I'm in Bardstown. It's a small world.

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