Posted 6 years ago
Winter is the time to work on trunks here at Lake Tahoe, and my latest one is a 28x18x12 H. C. Faber & Sons "Rawhide" trunk. I call it "circa 1890" because both the hinges and latches are marked "patented May 1887". The body, which has never been repainted, is canvas (duck cloth) with rawhide corners and strapping. The hinges and latches are steel. The lid edging is blued steel. The key lock is bronze from Corbin Cabinet Lock Co., New Britain, Conn. The leather handle strap connecters, top and side protectors are solid brass. The bottom protectors are steel tying to three oak strips on the bottom. All the hardware is riveted to the body and the rawhide is held on with square nails.
Inside there is tea dyed muslin cloth glued directly to the wood body. The underside of the lid has a single envelope and the black decal label. The trunk does not have an exterior brass label identified by others.
When found in an antique shop in Idaho, the trunk was dirty with some water staining and lots of rust. Since the body had not been repainted, it is clear that the brass protectors and rawhide were originally bare. The canvas was painted and likely had a coal-tar (toxic) formula to give it good water proofing.
Now on to the next project, an 1840's Nathan Neat.