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Civil War Valise (hand trunk)

In Furniture > Trunks > Show & Tell and Military and Wartime > Civil War > Show & Tell.
Recent activity94142 of 180503The Beatles Booklet from England, front and back cover shown. My Cuckoo Clock - has anyone ever seen one like this?
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Posted 7 years ago


(32 items)

If you've seen many old trunk labels you'll know that they almost always list Trunks, Valises, and Carpet Bags. Many people today don't know what a valise was so I thought I'd show one. I've done a lot of research and seen many early trunk labels that show these valises along side the regular size trunks. Well, the valise was basically an early form of a suitcase or briefcase, used mostly by men for short trip purposes. This fine example is from the 1850's to 1860's and shows the Jenny Lind influence in the shape and iron banding with large brass studs. The thick leather is nicely tooled with geometric designs. It has leather straps with buckles and an iron and brass lock. They attached a leather cover for the lock to keep out dirt and water. It also has the original leather handles on the top. The interior has two compartments as well as a nice red leather pocket for papers and letters. I'm not certain where this was made but the original owner was from New Hope, NY, so it could have been made in that area. This measures 20 x 14 x 11 inches, the perfect carry-on for stagecoach travel!


  1. Chapeldreamer Chapeldreamer, 7 years ago
    Oh great! I was just about to take a stagecoach trip across Ohio....LOL :)
  2. Dave, 7 years ago
    What is the value of this trunk?
  3. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 7 years ago
    Well, as with most antiques that is fairly subjective and depends partly on what a collector would pay, but based on it's rarity and great condition probably in the range of $400 to 600. Some shops would have a higher price on it.
  4. Dave, 7 years ago
    Thank you. I have one in great shape. Leather is dry and coming off. But original straps. Lock and key that work. Etc. Thanks for info. If you strip off leathe and refinish is it worth more or less? Dave
  5. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 7 years ago
    If the leather is too far gone to preserve then it usually improves the value to remove it and finish if it's all wood underneath (some are not). Most people don't seem to like leather that is rotten and falling off.
  6. senor_trunk senor_trunk, 7 years ago
    thanks for the info, getting a good education at this sight
    glad i ran across it

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