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Trunks2027 of 2577My trunk. Dome Top Trunk - Family Heirloom
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    Posted 8 years ago

    (10 items)

    This trunk belonged to my great grandfather who lived from 1852-1931. I don't know too much about the history of this trunk other than it was his. It appears to be canvas covered and it's a pretty large trunk. It measures approximately 32 X 22 and 24" high or so. There is a pretty nice conditioned compartment tray inside and on the removable compartment there is hardware that is marked "Pat. Jan.11.70". There are no other markings on this trunk other than his initials and town, state handpainted on the lower side of the trunk. The latches have a number "4", but I am unsure what this means, if anything. The slats on the top go lengthwise, and there are crosswise leather pieces over the canvas yet under the wooden slats. Any information any of you could offer is most appreciated. I would like to know the approximate age or manufacturer of the trunk. I plan to get it restored and keep as original as possible, especially the canvas as it is monogrammed. Thanks!

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    1. Manikin Manikin, 8 years ago
      Very nice and in wonderful condition . Several trunk experts here on CW should be able to tell you more . I love it as it is in original state :-)
    2. mgleone, 8 years ago
      Thank you! I am hopeful that someone will be able to provide some additional information. I think it's in pretty good shape. I'd like to just clean it up and replace missing handles, etc. I don't think it needs much. Thanks again for taking the time to comment. :)
    3. trunkman trunkman, 8 years ago
      You have a lovely circa 1880 "camel back" or "hump back" trunk that is a lovely higher quality piece. Looks like cast iron double mounted slat clamp ends. The number 4 on the latch is a size reference -- 5 being the highest and largest. These latches are patented cast iron but I am not exactly sure of the producer. Great beaded oak slats and leather straps and finishes. I would gun oil all of the hardware and tung oil all of the wood slats to bring out the sheen. A little bit of warm soapy water on a clean cloth will clean up the canvas a bit. Without a label it will be difficult to ascertain who made it as there were numerous manufacturers making similar styles and types. As a high end style and grade of trunk it may classify as a "Saratoga Trunk". Very nice and thanks so much for the post -- great to see it an appreciate the craftsmanship that went into these beauties.
    4. trunkingforfun, 8 years ago
      Thanks to trunkman. I am curious about the leather strap going thru the ? lid lifter? (most often missing). Maybe I have mistaken that leather piece above the lock as a lifter, sometimes I believed it to be a protective piece for the lock. But I have never seen one intact to really know. I have always thought that the leather straps with buckles were held by the keepers. The interior is fantastic. Even the color of the ribbons appears fresh. And family history besides! I agree that very little is needed for the restoration. Thanks for the post.
    5. trunkman trunkman, 8 years ago
      It is hard to tell about the leather strap -- almost like it does not belong, as you say because there seems to be no guides to pass it through. However it is hard to tell because we cannot see the beginning of it and the end on these pictures. This small leather piece is a lifter, while some are draped over the lock to protect the lock and also act as a lifter. You are right -- rarely seen!!!
    6. mgleone, 8 years ago
      trunkman and trunkingforfun,

      Thank you so much for your input. It is very appreciated. I am hoping to clean it up and make it look as nice as it can without doing much to it. Thanks for the tips for cleaning up the wood and metal. I am unsure how to handle the leather strips that sit under the wooden slats. There are many nails/tacs in those. I would be afraid to try and clean the nails for fear that I'd get the oil on the leather. Is there a leather conditioner that I can use on those leather strips along with the large strap that goes around the trunk? Regarding that strap, there are no guides/loops that hold it, but in several places this strap is riveted right into the slats. The strap goes completely around the trunk (underneath/in back). There is one other strap that I found inside the compartment tray (pictured in my other post), but I am unsure if this went with the trunk or was just stored inside for other purposes. I am really thrilled to have this heirloom. Thanks again for your comments.
    7. mgleone, 8 years ago
      Out of curiosity...what makes this trunk seem of higher quality? Is it the hardware, materials, style? I don't know much about these trunks (yet). This one to me of course is priceless...
    8. trunkman trunkman, 8 years ago
      Higher quality material, hardware and inside finishes. Every upgrade cost a bit more. From the amount of rivets used to the quality of a brass lock.
    9. mgleone, 8 years ago
      Thank you. I wish there was a key for the lock. Is there anything that should be done with the canvas for restoration, or is a simple clean all it would need? Sorry for so many questions.
    10. trunkman trunkman, 8 years ago
      No problem with the questions -- that's why we are here! A simple cleaning will suffice. (I usually use a very damp cloth with a bit of soapy water. )
    11. trunkingforfun, 8 years ago
      Back to the "leather strips that sit under the wooden slats" I doubt these to be leather. Not sure if the vulcanized "fibre"was in use at the time this trunk was made but I have seen that material used under the slats but not leather.
    12. trunkingforfun, 8 years ago
      I have to recant. I have seen leather used as the binding on the trunk, on the edge of the box. Looking at the zoomed in pic I have to agree it looks like leather.
    13. mgleone, 8 years ago
      It's definitely leather. Just wondering how to take care of/clean/condition it.
    14. trunkingforfun, 8 years ago
      Mink oil has been recommended by others on this site and I have used it successfully on sixty year old leather. I have no experience with other preparations. My use if it is only a very small sample and the immediate result is all I can speak to.
    15. trunkingforfun, 8 years ago
      Trunkman has called this a dome or camel back but I question that. It appears to be a barrel as it is not straight or even across the top. Or so it appears to me. It might be camera angle. Quoting him to have stated on this site, in the past that, "the barrel top has a high center point whereas the dome top is straight across the top." Are you there for comment, Trunkman?
    16. trunkman trunkman, 8 years ago
      Sure -- Barrel top, camel top or hump back top are all the same. I never referred to it as a dome top trunk -- if you reread my comment you will see. Barrel-top trunk fits for this. Happy to be corrected if anyone has a case with the three names for the same type of trunk. You out there Marvin???
    17. trunkingforfun, 8 years ago
      Yes, now I see. Get stuck on this all the time. I seem to remember a discourse by Trunker Marvin on this site. Somewhere. Thanks, Trunkman.
    18. mgleone, 8 years ago
      This trunk definitely slopes from front to back and side to side. It has a high point in the center for sure. This is barrel ? I so appreciate all the feedback and will hopefully start cleaning it up very soon. I hope the "old" odor leaves soon as well. It's the worst part!
    19. trunkingforfun, 8 years ago
      Several odor removal suggestions. 1. fresh air and sunshine for days. 2. Vinegar in a bowl and close the lid, for days. 3. dryer sheets and close the lid, for days and 3. Kitty litter and close the lid for days.. Good luck.
    20. mgleone, 8 years ago
      Great suggestions. Thank you so much.

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