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Metal Alligator Trunk - Help with ID

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whatisit's loves3 of 41Bowl of unknown orginFrench Tapestry
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    Posted 8 years ago

    (10 items)

    I purchased this trunk at an estate sale yesterday in CT. Don't know much about it. It's a medium sized trunk with wood inside. Has decorative photo inside lid. Appears to be alligator embossed tin. Latch mechanisms read "Pat JUL 9 72". I would like to restore this trunk but there is some rust and looks like a travel card with some sort of writing was riveted to side of the trunk. Any feedback on identificaton, type, manufacturer, age would be so appreciated. Also seeking tips on restoration. Thanks in advance.

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    1. Radegunder Radegunder, 8 years ago
      Very nice, one of a kind !!
    2. kyratango kyratango, 8 years ago
      Looks abolutely as real alligator skin... Are you Sure it is embossed tin?
      We have here some sharp specialists for trunks, wait for their visit!
    3. trunkman trunkman, 8 years ago
      Looks like an 1880's to 90's dome top trunk. Unless there is a label on it it is difficult to know who made it -- there were many companies making similar trunks at the time. The alligator tim pattern poses a bit of a refinishing dilemma. It looks great in this rustic natural brown color -- your three options are : 1. Take drill with a wire brush and rub off the old rust and paint -- but it will be shinny. 2. Take some steel wool and rub off loose rust for a repaint -- do two colours or one. 3. Leave the tin alone put on some gun oil to retard the rust and refinish the slats and outer metal. Okay added forth bonus option is to gun oil all the metal and redo the slats only. Or just clean it up and leave as is. since it is not particularly rare or expensive type of trunk you can basically treat it as you like for your own purposes..Hope this helps...
    4. mgleone, 8 years ago
      Thanks for the feedback. I've taken a bit of oil
      Soap and the slats are a beautiful oak underneath in what looks to be great condition. The alligator parts are confusing me. It looked like a lot of rust but all I did was wipe down with a damp cloth and it's gone? Dried for hours. I've never seen rust come off so easily but I'm not questioning it! The color of the alligator once cleaned is beautiful. There is brown and tan and gray. Then there's a few area that have a silvery/gray color. I think this one night clean up quite nicely. I appreciate the feedback and the estimate on years. I'm hoping as I keep working on it that I might find some markings or additional clues.
    5. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 8 years ago
      I'm going to mention Laurel Mountain Browning one more time to you guys. It does a great job on forming a rust preventative coating on iron/steel. Looks like a satin coat of rust but repeated applications will even start to show a satin textured bluing finish. I've used it on antique guns that people have done the "favour" of polishing the metal. It works great and after you get the shade you want, a simple wipe of gun oil & forget it, as it seems impervious to future rust under normal conditions. I got mine from Dixie Gun Works & couldn't be more satisfied. Small bottle, but goes a long way! Try it.
    6. Drill Drill, 8 years ago
      Nice trunk ! Cool BB2 I will try it. ,
    7. mgleone, 8 years ago
      Thank you so much for the feedback. I will look into that oil. There is a lot of rust on the black tin edges. I may have no choice but to repaint it. First restore project and I paid next to nothing for the trunk. Taking all the advice to heart and am hoping it turns out well. Thanks again!!
    8. TubeAmp TubeAmp, 8 years ago
      You have to decide how far to take it preferably before you start rubbing 20 different oils, miracle finishes, and cleaners on it (I'm talking about the trunk BB, the trunk...).

      You don't want do steps out of order or put something on the trunk that will cause headaches later in your restoration. I would slow down, assess what you have material/trunk wise, research how to refinish those materials, and then order any replacement items you need and plan out the steps in a logical order.

      (My neighbor redid his living-room. He had new carpeting installed first, then he painted the walls... yeah, he ended up spilling the paint on the new carpet, but he still didn't learn his lesson because he had new carpeting installed a few days later, THEN he painted the trim and doors in the room).

      T A
    9. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 8 years ago
      Hey Tube, at least he didn't mess up the walls! Sorry, but I'm in that mode people don't always enjoy on CW CyberAsylum. I promise to go to bed!
    10. mgleone, 8 years ago
      I'm first trying to envision the finished product so I know where to begin. There's a fair amount of rust so I imagine there will be tons of prep. Locks/latches appear to work and thankfully there's nothing missing. I will not rush it...plan then do. Thanks!
    11. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 8 years ago
      Hey, mgleone, if that was your poste that Eye4 got deleted (OK, we got deleted!), I'm sorry! We got a bit carried away with humour. Had a bit of trouble with my provider today, so if I am in error, forget the apology! LOL! I'm sure I will owe one later! LOL

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