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Vintage Steamer Trunk

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Trunks2133 of 2636antique steamerLeather-covered Jenny Lind
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    Posted 9 years ago

    (600 items)

    I purchased this trunk from a lovely lady and her kind husband.
    I was told it had been used for over 100 years within her family.
    I would like to know what year it was made and by whom.
    Approximate Measurements are 34" wide x 19" deep x 26" high
    It has a railway express agency tag hanging from one of the torn leather side handles.
    Lock is YALE & TOWNE MFG CO. No key for lock.
    The leather side straps are torn/missing.
    It also has 8 casters on the bottom, I believe.

    I've always wanted one of these and this one is so much more beautiful in person, photos do not do it justice.
    It's not as rusty as it appears.
    I would also like to know how to clean the wood, remove the rust from the metal parts & polish the hardware without harming the trunk.
    Can anyone advise? Please.

    I did some reasearch on this style of trunk, I am not 100% sure but I believe it's a Saratoga, here's why...
    In the late 1870s a large fancy round top trunk became popular, because it was used by the wealthier people visiting the spas & racetrack at Saratoga Springs, New York.
    The Saratoga Trunk was a very large, domed top style with fancy trim, covered in either leather or metal.
    Early trunk catalogs & ads describe Saratoga trunks as a "large round top of the highest class".
    Round top trunks (also called humpback, camelback, monitor top, & barrel top) were made in a wide range of sizes & coverings.
    It is believed that the round tops were made for those who wanted to try to have their trunk packed on the top of baggage cars, so they would not be damaged.

    Unsolved Mystery

    Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.

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    1. trunkman trunkman, 9 years ago
      Okay Aimathena -- role up your sleeves on this one! Looks like you have a nice late 1800's to early 1900's dome top trunk. (Cast iron corner pieces help place it there) Common style and type of trunk for its day and no distinguishing makers signature to it so apart from a label any number of companies could have built it (and there were many). The wood slats look pretty rough -- I would refinish them by taking paint stripper and steel wool and getting back to the wood itself. then I would either put a light stain on it and tung oil the slats or just oil without stain. Hmmm -- for the body looks like a lot of rust and a lot of paint missing. Two options -- clean it up with fine to medium steel wool to get the loose rust off of it and then gun oil it to bring it back to life -- or steel wool it and repaint it black with rust paint. I personally do not like repainting trunks and I usually go with the former treatment. The middle tin part looks like it may have been crystallized at some point but it is hard to tell. Try some fine steel wool on the back first to see how it looks. Try gun oil on all the hardware. How much you do and how far you go with it depends on what you want to get out of it and how rustic vs. restored you want it to look. Rule of thumb -- make it like you want it-- not for resale value. Any chance of flipping that first picture -- stuff came out of it on my desktop... Welcome to CW!!!!
    2. toolate2 toolate2, 9 years ago
      Very cool old trunk! Love the tray... Welcome to the board! If you have any more old stuff we'd love to see it!!!
    3. Aimathena Aimathena, 9 years ago
      Trunkman you're too funny. Sorry about your desktop. Much luv for all the great info. I plan to use most/all.

      toolate2 glad you like it, I fell in love with it (especially for the very low price I paid.) I was very pleased the tray was still in it. Has a funny odor inside.
      Stopped at the store on my way home & someone approached me wanting to buy it. I do have plenty more second hand treasures to add. Thanks again guys.
    4. DrFluffy DrFluffy, 9 years ago
      Super cool... Love it... Welcome to CW.
    5. Aimathena Aimathena, 9 years ago
      Thank you DrFluffy =^)
    6. pops52 pops52, 9 years ago
      Nice old trunk! It has a lot of character. Thanks for sharing.
    7. Aimathena Aimathena, 9 years ago
      Thank you Pops52 =^)
    8. Aimathena Aimathena, 9 years ago
      Thanks for the Love...
    9. Aimathena Aimathena, 9 years ago
      Thanks for the Love gargoylecollector =^)
    10. Signaholic Signaholic, 9 years ago
      Looks like you and I have some work to do on our trunks!
    11. Aimathena Aimathena, 9 years ago
      Dont I know it. I'm so afraid of ruining mine. At least you have experience, you'll do fine (I'm sure)
      I wish trunkman lived nearby!!
    12. Aimathena Aimathena, 9 years ago
      =^) thanks for the Love... Van {{hugs}}
    13. Signaholic Signaholic, 9 years ago
      I don't think it will be as hard as you think. You just need to do as he stated and take it slow. Test on the back first and see if it's to your liking then proceed. The steel wool was something I had forgotten about, sure that it will help greatly.
    14. Aimathena Aimathena, 9 years ago
      =^) Thanks for the Love... cwpost
    15. Aimathena Aimathena, 9 years ago
      =^) Thanks for the Love... Sean xoxoxox
    16. junkmanjoe junkmanjoe, 9 years ago
      Very nice!! I still have to find me one of these!
    17. Aimathena Aimathena, 9 years ago
      I think I'm going to get rid of it joe bc I dont know how to refinish it and it does take up space.
    18. junkmanjoe junkmanjoe, 9 years ago
      or you could just leave it like it is. It gives it a lot character!! You could store your favorite quilts or bed spreads in it.
    19. Aimathena Aimathena, 9 years ago
      No, it smells really weird inside.
    20. junkmanjoe junkmanjoe, 9 years ago
      O no!! No dead body's in there! Lol!! Have to put some charcoal in there to absorb the smell!!
    21. Aimathena Aimathena, 9 years ago
      Thank you joe. In wouldn't have thought of that. I dont like to open it in the house because of the smell.
    22. junkmanjoe junkmanjoe, 9 years ago
      Your welcome!! You mite just have to keep on in the garage or storage shed!!
    23. Aimathena Aimathena, 9 years ago
      It's been fine inside, so long as its not opened. I bought it with the intentions of using it, but can't get past the smell. I would rather someone else enjoy it, then me store it. I might put it on craigslist or ebay. If/when I decide to, I will remove it from here.
    24. tom61375, 9 years ago
      Ooooooh, nothing like that old trunk smell! (8^'
    25. Aimathena Aimathena, 9 years ago
      Ewwwuah not this smell Tom (harsh chemical)
    26. tom61375, 9 years ago
      Ow, chemically! I had a opossum literally walk into me late last night. It smelt....well. As long as it is a chemical smell & not of opossums! LoL >.<
    27. Aimathena Aimathena, 9 years ago
      Too cute tom, always look forward to your cheerful comments
    28. tom61375, 9 years ago
      Snickers & Sprite, that what I always say...with bourbon ]:^D! Oh my, it appears I just ran out of bourbon, hmmmm. Well, I guess it's snickers & sprite w/ Gin then! >.<
    29. Aimathena Aimathena, 9 years ago
      I have a Kentucky straight bourbon container shaped like a fire truck but I still need to post
    30. tom61375, 9 years ago
      Awe! ]:^' Let me see, please?
    31. Aimathena Aimathena, 9 years ago
    32. trunkman trunkman, 9 years ago
      Throw a couple of those laundry dryer thingy sheets -- it will greatly reduce the odor inside the trunk.
    33. Aimathena Aimathena, 9 years ago
      Thank you trunkman. I might try the charcoal then the dryer Sheets... what do you think?
    34. trunkman trunkman, 9 years ago
      Not a bad plan -- absorb and refill. Due to my deep and abiding laziness I tend to just throw in the towel...
    35. Aimathena Aimathena, 9 years ago
      LoL, ok... I will do both and report back =^) ty both for the great ideas.
      I don't know why I didn't think about the dryer sheets because I use them under sofa & chair cushions, in dresser drawers, shoes clothes and even under the seats in my car. I also water down the liquid fabric softener and spray just about everything fabric. It even works great on the walls to remove smoke odors.
    36. Aimathena Aimathena, 9 years ago
      Thank you for the Loves...
    37. tom61375, 9 years ago
      Peaches and Cream Aimathena! =)
    38. Aimathena Aimathena, 9 years ago
      Thank you for the love xo
    39. Aimathena Aimathena, 8 years ago
      Thanks so much for the love...

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