Posted 10 years ago
I'm a trunk collector and my collection includes samples of very small trunks (doll or toy trunks) and the full size trunks. These pictures show my favorite Jenny Lind style doll/toy trunk, only 12" wide, and a full size similar style trunk that is 30" wide. These fancy trunks were named for Jenny Lind when she came to tour America in 1850 to 1852 with P.T. Barnum. She was the most famous singer of her time and had already become famous in Europe where she had performed for 10 years. But these trunks became extremely popular during the 1850's and continued to be made and used until about 1870 based on my research. They were used by men, women, and children and were made in many sizes and variations of the unique shape. Some were made of thick solid sole leather and others were completely wood with coverings of leather, paper or even oil cloth (treated canvas fabric). This little doll trunk is totally original with thin red leather, stenciled with fancy designs, and has brass banding. The interior is complete with the paper covered tray and lid compartment. It even has small brass ring handles on the sides and a working lock and key.
The larger Jenny Lind trunk are usually refinished because the covering leather or material is often too deteriorated to preserve. I've recently found some information which indicates that the first Jenny Lind trunks were probably made in New York City for Jenny Lind. These are a true American collectible.