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Help me identify this trunk

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Trunks1901 of 2547PrairieTrunk restoration projectNeed Help To Identify Seward Trunk
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    Posted 7 years ago

    (2 items)

    This was sitting at my grandparents house forever and it just came to me and I'm looking to learn a little bit more about it. The outside is completely covered with metal expect for the wood strips running across it. Wood on the inside with a paper cover. Looking to find out a possible date it was made. There's a date on the wheels on the bottom. Not sure if that's the date for the trunk or not. Tips for DIY restore are welcome. Not looking to sell it I just want to make it usable again.

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    1. trunkman trunkman, 7 years ago
      You have a lovely "Barrel Top" trunk made in the late 1880's to early 1890's. As you surmised, the patent dates on the hardware do not specify the exact year the trunk was made but rather the date the pieces were patented. That being said, even though some pieces were used for many years later, the style form and materials of your trunk suggest the time frame mentioned. Without a maker's label it is too hard to know who would have manufactured your trunk as it is a typical style of its day and there were many makers using common parts. The trunk appears to be in really good shape and I would do little to change it other than perhaps treating the tin and hardware with gun oil and giving the wood trim some coats of tung oil. Repainting these trunks is an option but to me it changes the feel of them dramatically and I prefer to old patina look to them. Hope this helps and welcome to collector's weekly!!!!
      PS. You can buy new leather handles online at some trunk restoration sites.
    2. Dvinson86, 7 years ago
      That's perfect, thank you!! I've added a photo of the paper on the underside of the trunk lid. No label or anything and I'm not sure if it's original or not but still pretty neat.
    3. trunkman trunkman, 7 years ago
      That is a very nice original lithograph. Really neat to see them intact. Thanks for the pics...
    4. trunkingforfun, 7 years ago
      Love this trunk! Can you see a maker name on the lock plate? It appears a bit off although I cannot say exactly why. The latches are not the typical tension draw bolt type. They may be called a slide catch, not sure. They are less common than the drawbolt but not rare.
    5. Bridget, 7 years ago
      I have a friend that restores old trunks. The paper inside is usually in bad shape and smelly so she does replace it. She has told me that 9 times out of 10 the date that this was made is usually stamped somewhere under the paper.

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