Posted 11 years ago
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.