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Jenny Lind Trunk?

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Drill's loves385 of 525A Jenny Lind restoration/redesignExcelsior Toy Oak Slat Trunk
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    Posted 6 years ago

    mhartsock
    (1 item)

    Hello! I am trying to find out more about this trunk. It was given to me by a family friend and I have looked around trying to find similar items but haven't quite found something like it. It has steel straps and a steel lock with what appears to be brass tacks. It has been refinished on the outside but not on the inside. It is rather rough on the inside and missing the tray that sits inside. If anyone knows more about the history, style, maker, or year of this trunk it would be greatly appreciated!

    From my research I would guess that this is a Jenny Lind bread loaf trunk, however I'm not quite sure what that means. I read that Jenny Lind was a designer who came over to america in the late 1800's and introduced this style of trunk. However, the style was copied by others and I don't know whether those copies are still "Jenny Lind trunks". What exactly qualifies a trunk as a Jenny Lind trunk?

    One thing I noticed is that this trunk has slats on the top which I haven't seen on many of the Jenny Lind trunks I looked up. If it was a true stagecoach trunk from the late 1800's would it still have the slats? I had thought those were added to protect the trunks from being damaged on trains but wasn't sure if they were used for stagecoaches since I'm assuming that they wouldn't require as much protection as being bumped and tossed on a train. However, I know that the ones designed for trains tended to be the flat top type since they fit better stacked together than rounded top ones. Does anyone know the timeline of the shape and style changes and how to identify this trunk?

    Any information would be greatly appreciated!

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    Comments

    1. trunkman trunkman, 6 years ago
      A very lovely Jenny Lind "bread-loaf" style trunk. It is unusual to see wood slats running across the top of these. Jenny Lind was a Swedish opera singer who toured the US . "In 1850, Lind went to America at the invitation of the showman P. T. Barnum. She gave 93 large-scale concerts for him and then continued to tour under her own management." Wikipedia -- It was rumored that she had this style of trunk in her entourage -- and the style became associated with her name. The exact history of how this developed is unclear -- there are other contributors who have studied this naming of the trunk and know a lot more about it. I do not think slats on the top had much to do with trains or stagecoaches. It will be interesting to hear what others say. Generally these began showing up at around 1860 or so and onward... hope this helps a little.
    2. hmsantiquetrunks.com hmsantiquetrunks.com, 6 years ago
      I have done extensive research on the naming of the Jenny Lind trunk, and you can read it here, http://www.hmsantiquetrunks.com/how-the-jenny-lind-trunk-got-its-name.html
      I have documented proof these these being made as early as 1849 and I suspect earlier than that. Yours is from 1864 or later as evidenced by the Liebrich Patent hasp. While we call these trunks Jenny Lind trunks now, when they were sold they were simply identified by their construction (Iron frame, steel spring, etc) and or what they were covered with. Yes, slats were designed to protect trunks, but like anything they had to start somewhere, and in the case of trunks that would be generally around the early 1860's. I like slatted JL's, and they are less common. Nice one.
      Jim
      hmsantiquetrunks.com
    3. mhartsock, 6 years ago
      Wow this is great information! Thank you trunkman and Jim! It is always interesting to find out the history of a piece, especially one that you own.
    4. mhartsock, 6 years ago
      Wow this is great information! Thank you trunkman and Jim! It is always interesting to find out the history of a piece, especially one that you own.
    5. steamerrestorer, 3 years ago
      Just got one with a Hugh Swan/Antrim label on it, has a crown on top the name.
      Made in Antrim, NH? Can't find that mfg. in lists, but that town was settled by Irish/Scots. It has the rounded leather bottom, not all wood.
      Anyone know more?
    6. steamerrestorer, 3 years ago
      Also has stencils of a HARP in several places?

      And looking for info on Montag trunks from Montreal?

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