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Metal Covered Toy or Doll Trunk

In Furniture > Trunks > Show & Tell and Victorian Era > Show & Tell.
Victorian Era1954 of 2063Favorite Jenny Lind Doll TrunkMore favorite things...
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Posted 7 years ago


(32 items)

I like trunk collecting and I'm glad that there is a place to show some of my collection. I hope it also helps others to learn more about them and their history. I've done a lot of research on these to help determine the correct age, etc. This little "doll trunk" is one of my favorites because of it's great original condition. It is 14" wide and has a nice round top, and thick wood slats. The metal covering has a special finish that was called Crystallized finish which is really attractive. I learned that this was a chemical process to create the crystal patterns on the metal and coloring was added to create different colors. Then they put a coating of varnish over it to help protect it. The process was patented back in the 1880's and used on trunks from the 1880's through the 1920's. This trunk has the complete interior with the chromolithograph pictures and Victorian paper trim in the lid and tray. I've found a few old trunk catalogs where these little trunks were called Toy Trunks and came in sizes from 12" up to 20". Some were quite detailed with brass hardware, fancy interior trays and compartments. Now some people are saying that ALL of these little trunks were "salesmans samples" but that's not really true. They also did not always come with dolls, and were not called Doll trunks, but were called Toy trunks by the makers. Some were possibly used as salesman's samples and some people would probably call this one, however there is the name Amanda painted on the side, probably the first little girl who owned it! I've seen many very simple and plain toy trunks listed on auction websites and called salesman's samples, but they definitely were not. People do need to understand that just because an old item is small doesn't mean it was a salesmans sample.


  1. senor_trunk senor_trunk, 7 years ago
    more great info
    i'm a new collector and enjoy learning as much as i can.
    i will post some others to learn more
  2. Judee, 6 years ago
    I love all this antique info.This item is very attractive to me,as I don't have room for full sized trunks.I have an extensive antique collection,and I am running out of room,so the small stuff peeks my attention.
  3. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 6 years ago
    Thanks Judee, I know what you mean and I feel the same way so I started collecting the smaller trunks mostly, but still end up buying a large one now and then that I can't resist. Sometimes I have to get rid of one to buy one I like better!
  4. frenchie frenchie, 6 years ago
    Hi trinket Marvin,I was referred to you.can you look at my trunk pictures and give any info,it's supposed to be over 200years old as I bought it yesterday at Ann estate sale and the info was that it's been in the estate for 200 years and travelled across the prairies and back east to Nova Scotia,Canada.all that it says is Mackay New Glasgow.the lock is brass so it must have been added to keep the trunk closed at one time.if you need additional pics let me know.
  5. Trunker, 4 years ago
    Really great find!
  6. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 2 years ago
    Thanks Trunker! I do love the look of the green crystallized metal.

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