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Antique French Made Crocodile Hide Covered Travel Cube (Hat Trunk)

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Trunks1736 of 2635Faber trunkAntique trunk from the dump
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    Posted 8 years ago

    (649 items)

    I just acquired this one. It's a French made travel cube (actually designed for carrying men's hats). I do not know anything about it, other than it's French made and very old. It's covered in crocodile hide. Given it's age, the exterior is in pretty good condition (after an intense cleaning). But, the interior is near perfect. I thought it was a very cool little trunk.
    It has a small leather label inside that says DEPOSE' and a Surete' (Security in English) 2 lock. It has very heavy, high quality, brass hardware. A very high quality trunk. Anyone out there that can help me identify this trunk and it's era and it's maker? I appreciate any input.

    Update: Jean Pierre Bal, French trunk collector and restorer, has identified this as a Parisian made "Bertrand" hat trunk. He said it was designed to carry 4 or more men's hats. He also said that this trunk once had a leather handle on top with a brass label that had the "Bertrand" brand name engraved on it. I would love to have seen that for certain!


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    1. jscott0363 jscott0363, 8 years ago
      Jewels and officialfuel, Thanks for the love!
    2. SEAN68 SEAN68, 8 years ago
    3. jscott0363 jscott0363, 8 years ago
      Thanks Sean!!
    4. jscott0363 jscott0363, 8 years ago
      Thanks for the loves everybody!!
    5. Drill Drill, 8 years ago
      Nice French cube trunk, in very good condition for it's age. I'm guessing 1920's to 30's .Depose' is not the manufacturer it means "registered" with the french patent office. most french trunks will have this on them somewhere/I.E. lock hardware, handle,interior compartment.
    6. jscott0363 jscott0363, 8 years ago
      Thanks Drill!! The only French trunks I've seen that used that design, not brand, of lock is Vellum and Lavolaille. But, I'm still would like to know who made this one. I'm not having any luck on the research of this one.
    7. Drill Drill, 8 years ago
      I would Goggle "A. Delion trunk images see what you think.Two pictures of hat trunks should come up both models are A. Delion These are old postings so all the photos were not present. But I remembered both of them because I had almost purchased both. A.Delion would emboss there name and Paris into the top handle
      which you seem to be missing. A side note: French trunks made for export were required to be marked made in France or Paris somewhere on the item. Domestic
      products had no requirement but most still did. Older french items are sometimes
      marked Brevete' meaning patented S.G.D.G. which stands for Sans Guarantee Du Government. meaning Patented without Guarantee of state government.
      Another source for possibly finding out who made it : La Malle en coin .com (you must translate to english) or another is hope this helps good luck and have fun .If you have'nt been to these sites you'll be there browsing a while.
    8. Drill Drill, 8 years ago
      Another thought, the latch hardware present on your trunk is the same as the Moynat trunk that I posted a few months back as well as the brass nails ,only the next size down.(Meaning little but just a similarity).In Addition I would consider this cube to be a higher grade trunk due to the type of covering as well as all the nails are solid brass. Makers used steel nails on lower grade trunks ,
      Yours has nice "Jewelry" as we say.
    9. jscott0363 jscott0363, 8 years ago
      Drill, Thank you for the WEALTH of info!! I truly appreciate it very much. I'm am bound and determined to find out who made this and a little more about the trunk itself. You've been a HUGE help!! Many thanks!! The hide has absorbed several coats of leather conditioner. The croc print is really showing up more and more each time. It was very dirty and dried out when I got her. But, the hide is now very soft and shiny again.
    10. Drill Drill, 8 years ago
      I saw the original listing of this trunk, You did wonders just cleaning it. Glad it made it into the right hands.Cubes are my favorite,and what got me started collecting french trunks.much luck finding out the maker let us know of your results.
    11. jscott0363 jscott0363, 8 years ago
      Thank you Drill!! I got an incredible deal on it. I made her a low offer and she finally accepted it. I wasn't going to pay what she was asking. I wasn't entirely sure of the condition, other than the pics. It turned out to be very salvageable. I used Stubben glycerin saddle soap and Frye leather conditioning cream. I've always used Stubben saddle soap and I've used Frye Leather conditioner for several years. It works better than any leather conditioner I've ever used. I get the best results from both on all of my leather covered trunks. The Brick 4 stuff is ok, but not like the Stubben and the Frye.
    12. trunkman trunkman, 8 years ago
      A superb trunk -- very elegant...
    13. jscott0363 jscott0363, 8 years ago
      Thanks trunkman!!! Let me know if you have any information on her.
    14. Virginia.vintage Virginia.vintage, 8 years ago
      Very beautiful!!
    15. jscott0363 jscott0363, 8 years ago
      Thanks Virginia.vintage!!
    16. jscott0363 jscott0363, 8 years ago
      Hey Drill, Jean-Pierre Bal ,from has been helping me to identify this one. He's narrowing it down for me. Right now, he's got it narrowed down to about 12 Parisian trunk makers. I'll let you know what his final verdict is. Thanks for the website tips!!
    17. jscott0363 jscott0363, 8 years ago
      Thanks CindB!! I'm hoping the gentleman in Belgium can help me identify the trunk maker. So far, he believes it's from 1900 to 1910. But, doesn't know the trunk maker yet.
    18. Drill Drill, 8 years ago
      Awesome! Good stuff! wish you much success, and maybe :
      Check out La Malle maybe one of the oldest
      houses of Malletiers still functioning,4 generations might would know, they also do restorations.
    19. jscott0363 jscott0363, 8 years ago
      Thanks Drill!! I've been to site which is really impressive. Thanks for all your help Drill!!
    20. jscott0363 jscott0363, 8 years ago
      Drill, Jean-Pierre Bal narrowed the trunk maker down to a Parisian trunk maker by the name of Bertrand. Jean-Pierre said the trunk would have has a brass name plate on the leather handle bearing the "BERTRAND" name on. He also said that the particular lock was used by Bertrand extensively. So, he strongly believes this is definitely a Parisian made Bertrand hat trunk.
      Jean-Pierre said the trunk would have held as many as 4 gentlemen's hats. Thanks for the information, which allowed me to get in touch with Jean-Pierre Bal. That was very awesome of you!!
    21. jscott0363 jscott0363, 8 years ago
      Thanks for the loves everyone!!!
    22. Drill Drill, 8 years ago
      jscotto363 Thats great glad you made contact! I have never seen the label of "Bertrand"or heard of this manufacturer(I've searched). Maybe he could send you an image of the label.( I have seen the labels of Bertin, and Bernard on
      LaMalle en coins web site under: history -French trunk makers. they are alphabetical!)
    23. jscott0363 jscott0363, 8 years ago
      Drill, I asked Jean-Pierre if this could be a A. Delion hat trunk and he said no, because he owns (3) three Delion hat trunks and that this would no fit the Delion description. Jean-Pierre said the Parisian Bertrand trunk maker is defunct and apparently wasn't in business that long.
    24. jscott0363 jscott0363, 7 years ago
      Thanks everyone for the loves!! They are so very much appreciated!!!
    25. BelMal BelMal, 7 years ago
      jscotto363, I'm sure you recall my email about your hat trunk, as I wrote that Betrand could be the maker and "(...) one cannot exclude a few brands that would qualify to be on the list of possible makers." Now, about Bertrand. That's J. Bertrand, at Rue du Bac, Paris. He was the successor of J. Krogner established in 1850.
    26. jscott0363 jscott0363, 7 years ago
      Thanks very much for the info BelMal!!! And thanks very much for your emails. I do certainly appreciate that very much!
    27. jscott0363 jscott0363, 7 years ago
      Thanks so very much for the loves























      All very greatly appreciated!!!!
    28. jscott0363 jscott0363, 2 years ago
      Thank you Jenni for the love and for stopping by. Merry Christmas!!!
    29. jscott0363 jscott0363, 2 years ago
      Thank you Vynil for the love and for stopping in!!!
    30. roddyq roddyq, 2 years ago
      This is a great looking piece Scotty!!
    31. jscott0363 jscott0363, 2 years ago
      Thanks Roddy! It's the only croc covered hat trunk I've came across.

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