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Trunks1589 of 2657new to antiques, educate me pleaseExcelsior 1868 Patent trunk, Oak Slat
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    Posted 8 years ago

    (6 items)

    I picked this up a few weeks ago. I had seen a very grainy picture on CL for a few days and finally took a really good look. Instantly I called and set up a date to look at / buy it. I met the gentleman at his storage facility and we attempted to gain access. They had changed the hours of the facility , what storage company closes at 4:00 on a weekday? We met the next day and I am now the happy owner of a Martin Maier in need of some TLC. There is only one problem being the owner, where oh where do I find missing hardware. Please let me know if you are hoarding a top and bottom piece however; I expect if you are hoarding it, you will never let anyone know. The next problem, I do not know the name of the lock and because of that cannot even do a decent search. I have seen two of these exact trunks and they both have the same lock, last posted picture. It is the same one I have on the bureau trunk posted about 75 trunks before this one.

    Looking at Martin Maier, I have a theory and please tell me if I am right or wrong. It seems like the older Maier hinges are cast on the back and the sides with their signature hinge design. As the trunks get newer they have the signature part of the hinge on the back but not on the sides. Just a theory.

    Another question for the room, When did they quick making Martin Maier trunks? I have read all the articles on this site about MM and looked at the eight MM trunks on here however I found articles that said the company lasted longer than I thought. Because of this I have no idea what timeframe this trunk was made.

    MM trunk CO selling trunks in 1915

    MM involved in a 1923 lawsuit

    Lastly in 1923

    Having said all of this, I need to quit collecting and start refinishing. Hope you all have a good day.

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    1. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 8 years ago
      JonB, Great find! I love the fancy Martin Maier trunks and it's just a nice coincidence that I have the same initials as his, so I love the M hardware. It's very hard to know how long many of the trunk companies were in business or how long they kept making trunks of this style. Many were in business into the 1920's or later and as you and others know there is very little information available on many of these companies. But of course they made many types of trunks and many of Maier's trunks did not have their signature cast hardware or hinges. The latest patented item on your trunk is the alligator embossed metal which was in 1885, and I know some makers kept using that until almost 1920. But I expect these trunks with the fancy cast hardware were only made until about 1900, give to take a few years. Maybe someday we will find more definite proof about that. Very few trunk catalogs are found and they help a great deal! I'm not sure what you mean about the hinges, on the sides, etc, so can't comment on that. Also, I can't tell which parts you need besides the lock and latch bottoms, so if you email me some pictures or more info I may be able to help you. I may have a lock of that type and will check my spare parts. Those locks were usually called "monitor locks" in the old catalogs (nothing to do with some trunks called monitor trunks. They are fairly hard to find also. I'm sure you will enjoy working on this treasure!
    2. jscott0363 jscott0363, 8 years ago
      JonB, what an incredible find! You should have titled your post "Lucky Lucky". I've been collecting for the last 5 years and have yet to come across one of these. I can't wait to see your finished product. The only hardware I have in my shop is a set of cast iron handle end caps, some hand wrought handles and some very common Eagle locks. No MM hardware though. Enjoy your new find!!!
    3. trunkman trunkman, 8 years ago
      AWESOME -- welcome to the MM club... yours is similar to mine in many ways. The hardware is fabulous on these... mine was a grainy pic too and it took me awhile to figure out what it was. Great find!!
    4. Drill Drill, 8 years ago
      Hi,Jon If you go to find a and search for Martin Maier a good history comes up.He died Nov.9 1893 ,Survived by his wife Elisabeth Dorman Who kept it going till around 1921.He started in the states working for Wolfe bros. open his first store at 55 Monroe Ave. Fire burned the business out. He moved into the Woodward
      Ave store, while waiting for renovations for a time period he got parts for his trunk elsewhere.This might explain what you are referencing as to differences in hinges.
      Here is a patent picture of the hinge that you have.Hope it works.
      After this time period He built a 4 story block on 12th st. between Porter & Abbott
      Mrs. Maier continued the business in the David Whitney Building till about 1921.
      Important to note that in 1923 Jacues Manufacturing Co. & Martin Maiers co.(Fredrick Paquette was the president of Martin Maier at the time) were involved in a Joint venture to finally produce Automobile trunks. Which became a failed venture.
      Good luck with it and great find,hope you too find your parts.
    5. Drill Drill, 8 years ago
      Should have mentioned this all took place in Detroit.Here is a picture of the David Whitney building in 1920.
    6. Drill Drill, 8 years ago
      Fire # 2 at the four story location 1925
    7. bjb5859 bjb5859, 8 years ago
      WOW !!
      What a nice find
      I search most everyday for Martin Maiers Trunks and have been lucky enough to find and own 5 of them, each different . Its always nice to see the ones I miss.
      Good luck with it
    8. bjb5859 bjb5859, 8 years ago
      Do you own the trunk in the last picture as well
      Looks to be an oak slat??
    9. JonB, 8 years ago
      M Marvin – I had forgotten that they made trunks that did not use their signature hardware. Because of that remind I went back on CW and looked at the amazing MM without hardware. As far as the hinge goes, I wanted to post pictures of them but they only allow four pictures. I will add links later to try and explain what I meant, just a theory and I might be to new in the game to come up with grand theories. I am good on the latch and thank you for the help identifying the lock. I now know what to look for and that is half of the battle. I will of course contact you to see if I can purchase a lock if you have one. Because I have been to your site I know you do not have one listed.

      JScott – I agree I lucked out on this one. I am in a rather large city and I think I am the only one really looking here so that helps a lot. The trunk was listed for a few days with a very grainy picture before I noticed what it was. I have taken everyone’s advice to try and find trunks to include garage sales, flea market as well as auctions. I am moving to a very small city soon so I am stocking up as much as I can.

      Trunkman – I have looked and looked at your MM. Though I am lucky to find a MM I really like the wheat pattern of yours and just the overall masculine look of the trunk after you refinished it.

      Drill – For me, knowing the history adds so much to the trunk and once again thank for the history. I really wish someone would publish an updates trunk guide and if anyone on here does, put me down for the first book. Having said that, part of the fun is researching to try and find answers. That picture of Detroit helped me picture the era. I guess I’m the visual type.

      Bjb – I am happy at this point with one MM. I think if I had five I would never get anything done, just sit and stare. I still like the laser engraved leather trunk you posted earlier. The last picture is of the lock I was looking for and for reference only.
    10. JonB, 8 years ago
      Thank you –
      Official Fuel
      Fort Apache
    11. JonB, 8 years ago
      Still waiting to see if anyone has a 90 degree corner slat (bottom left on picture 1) or a top MM piece. I can hear all of you laughing at this request.
    12. Drill Drill, 8 years ago
      Jon, Yes we giggled , because we all know what it's like to be missing a part.Much empathy . It is searching for parts to make them whole again, that seems to lead me to more trunk finds(it's a never ending loop). Watch, you'll find another M.M. trunk soon.It will more than likely be missing the parts that are present on the first M.M. you found,you will look to the sky,shake your head and realize God has a great sense of humor. May the trunk'n force be with you.
    13. Drill Drill, 7 years ago

      More history!

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