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Jenny Lind Trunk? (I'm not sure!)

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Trunks1922 of 2669Large trunk .. Photos in addition to previous posts (8) My "finished" Crouch and Fitzgerald
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    Posted 9 years ago

    (2 items)

    Hello! I'm hoping someone can help me confirm or deny my suspicions on this trunk!
    My parents purchased it for me as a birthday gift from the flea market. The sellers claimed it to be an 1800s stagecoach trunk and upon further research I suspect it to be a Jenny Lind based on its body style.

    I haven't been able to find any markings indicating the producer of the trunk but was wondering if anyone knew what companies produced these style of trunks.
    Also, I'm unsure of the material on the trunk, it is worn and torn in some places and my dad suspects it to be a paper type substance as there are 'layers' when you look closely at the tears. It also looks to have had an embossed pattern on it at some point but that is faded as well. The hardware seems to be brass and the lock is very unusual (to me at least) having a feather/leaf shape to the clasp.

    If anyone could help me discover a bit more about the type of trunk I have and how best to refinish it I would greatly appreciate it!!

    Thank you!

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    1. trunkman trunkman, 9 years ago
      No doubt about this one -- definitely a Jenny Lind style trunk from around the 1860's (I have a couple on my site) . This is a very nice model with great brass bands and big rivets -- just the type collectors would be looking for. There were many companies that produced this style of trunk at the time so without a maker's label it would be difficult to know which one did the work. I would have thought it would have been covered in tooled leather but it looks like it is a thicker paper covering -- a bit hard to tell from the pictures. That lock plate is beautiful and I have never seen one like it!!! You could refinish it by taking off the paper but to have one as nice as this with the original covering still intact is rare and I personally would simply clean it up. Truly a beautiful trunk and a great gift to receive -- enjoy and thanks for the post!!!
    2. Drill Drill, 9 years ago
      A very desirable Jenny Lind.T-man is correct leave the covering. The leaf pattern lock cover, I have only seen once before. It is around 1860. They also made a dolphin pattern cover and a round swivel model. What makes it great are the 5 hard wood wood slats that you rarely see on Jennys. The rounded bottom makes it sought after as well. The Brass bands and buttons will polish up if you can get through the coat of lacquer on them. I am currently working on the same trunk with the exception of the handle holders(mine are Brass buttons) I unfortunately had to finish stripping the covering on mine as it was to far gone. I thought the covering might be paper too but when I wet a piece it didn't response as paper does it stayed together. I do believe it to be tooled leather or the toughest paper on planet earth. Mine was found up in Utica NY(4 Hr. drive to get it But thats another story). I was told it was made locally by its owner but that would be hearsay.I too would love to know the manufacturer . I would like to see pictures of the inside as mine is destroyed.It might help me in getting it back closer to original. I will post pictures of mine if I can figure out the wives camera and computer (she doesn't let me play with her toys to often) Good luck with it and thanks for the post.
    3. Mghnmarie Mghnmarie, 9 years ago
      Trunkman thank you so much for the response! I plan on keeping it as original as possible so I'm taking my time before diving in and doing some more research!

      Drill - I can absolutely send you some pictures of the inside...what's your email?
    4. Drill Drill, 9 years ago much thanks
    5. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 9 years ago
      Why are they called Jenny Lind?
    6. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 9 years ago
      Is it refering to the Swedish singer Jenny Lind?
    7. antiquerose antiquerose, 9 years ago
      Stunning Trunk -- Super Find!!
    8. Mghnmarie Mghnmarie, 9 years ago
      Elisabethan - yes based on the research I've come the style is based from a trunk Jenny Lind had :)
    9. Drill Drill, 9 years ago
      Yes!" The trunks were named after the Swedish singer Jenny Lind, who came to America in 1850 and toured with P.T. Barnum she carried a distinctive trunk which
      became all in the rage, it was eventually named for her: The Jenny Lind Trunk. She appeared in 95 concerts nationwide and was paid a total of $176,000 an incredible sum at the time.She was wildly popular but cut her tour short by 5 shows overwhelmed by the endless adulation. These were all the stele for the next 15-20
      years. It is up for debate as to whether she brought her trunk over from Europe or bought it in America. Rounded on the top and bottom they are sometimes called Saratoga's if fancy enough. rounded on the top but straight on the bottom they are not Saratogas. Both are however considered Jenny Linds ". I am sourcing- Antique Trunks identification and price guide copyright 2003 Linda Edelstein and Paul Pat Morse. But credit for the info must go to Marvin Miller's incredible research as well.
      I highly recommend the book if you seek out knowledge about trunks. Enough said.
    10. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 9 years ago
      Beautiful Jenny Lind style trunk of the late 1850's to 1860's. These were named after the famous singer Jenny Lind, and I have done a lot of research over the years on these and there is a recent break through regarding the name and beginning of these trunks. I wrote an article about these back in 1999, but continued to do more research and update the article. I also lived in Europe and traveled a good bit in England and always wondered if the story could be true that she brought a trunk like this from England. But there has never been any proof or evidence that trunks of this style were made in England. But I did find proof in early American business directories that this style trunk was made in America even before Jenny Lind came here in 1850. Small etchings of this type trunk were used in advertisements in business directories from 1849 and 1850 and later. So, that does prove that they were not copies of trunks that Jenny Lind brought. Also, the real proof was recently discovered by Jim Cardoza and he has written a article about this also. Jenny Lind was actually given a trunk of this style while traveling in America, by a trunk maker from Cincinnati, OH. She kept the trunk and used it as a hope chest as she was getting married after her U.S. tour. The trunk later was given to someone who brought it back to the U.S. and it wound up being sold here. But it was advertised as "Jenny Lind's trunk" and after that time the name stuck for these trunks. So the name was really given to these many years after her tour in 1852. The trunks were already being called sole leather trunks or other names depending on the maker and style. Some may have been called gold rush trunks or stagecoach trunks, because that's how they really got started. I read a story in a very old book once that said the large brass buttons were designed to look like gold nuggets as the 1849 gold rush had started. I think there is probably truth in that story as that seems to be about the time that the large brass nail heads (buttons) started to show up on trunks, both flat top and the Jenny Lind style. So, I hope that is helpful and that some of you other trunkers can know the real story of these trunks.
    11. Rangelle1 Rangelle1, 5 years ago
      You have a Jenny Lind style trunk. She was a famous singer known for her hour glass figure and the trunks were fashioned like an hour glass from the side. Circa 1850 to 1870. The black on the outside is normally leather but depending on the manufacturer may be something else. The tacks holding the metal bands should be brass. A little brass polish should clean them up. On some the metal bands are metal also.
      If it has the tray still with it on the inside that is a big plus.
      At any rate you have a very nice piece and
      If refinished can
      Be worth as much as $600-800.

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