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Old burlap covered family trunk

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    Posted 5 years ago

    (1 item)

    This has been in my family forever. It is burlap covered with wood. All the metal fixtures are in good shape. Leather strap for lock ripped. Burlap on back ripping where the hinge is. I am wondering how old it is and how to restore it. Possibly a manufacture or where it comes from.

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    1. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
      I can tell you a couple of things about your trunk. First of all it is most likely european made and my guess would be French. The steel handles and the metal work on the ridges would indicate that. The interior probably has four little metal brackets on the corners to hold a shelf-insert in place. Warm soapy water and a clean cloth helps to clean the canvas. Looks to be made around 1980-1910 or so. If you want to take the canvas off it looks nice with the pine underneath as well... here is an example of a similar one on my site with the canvas off...
      The canvas on yours looks to be in good shape though...
      Hope this helps a bit and welcome to Collectors Weekly.
    2. Victoria12u, 5 years ago
      It originally had an insert but it was totally destroyed so it was thrown out. If I remove the canvas does it make its value less. The family
      Legend is that my great great great grandmother came over from Europe with everything she owned in it.
    3. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
      Removing the canvas is principally a matter of personal choice. On a trunk such as yours it would not effect value in my opinion. I find that the current taste is for trunks with the wood exposed so stripping canvas adds a bit of value. Maybe 20 years down the road the trend will reverse.
    4. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
      Sorry for the date typo -- of course should read 1880 -- 1910....
      Its a very nice family heirloom you have. Treating the canvas with Howards feed and wax furniture polish brightens it up a bit.
    5. Drill Drill, 5 years ago
      Some food for thought, Trunks were always made to have a covering to protect the wood,That must be why ? we love to expose pristine 1800 lumber and refinish it. always know exactly what you have before you go ripping off
      covering. Once you strip original you can't go back. I have seen people unknowingly strip some of the finest makers Moynat, Goyard,Vuitton, Malle Benard etc. If it is a french trunk. To me it is more valuable with the original covering on .Many times I am a buyer ,of european trunks, When I see the covering removed, I really don't want it anymore. Everyone values things differently though.Always Make sure to inspect those handles and locks Moynat liked to stamp the name into them. British manufacturer John Pound used that type of handle as well as that style of leather lock cover with strap. I always keep in mind that Europe made far less trunks and had far fewer manufacturers than America. Much luck with it!
      Here is a picture of a few trunks ,ones you want the covers on.
    6. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
      Well said Drill...
    7. Victoria12u, 5 years ago
      I appreciate everyone's input. Everyone is so helpful. I looked for any markings on handles and did not see anywhere. The only thing I could find was the front leather piece has been stamped. If i look closely I can see what is perhaps an owl surrounded by a ring of flowers. Not sure it that can tell me something but I did post a picture of it.
      Thanks for everyone's help and tips. Still have not decided what to do with refinishing it :)
    8. Drill Drill, 5 years ago
      What you are more than likely looking at is a tooled leather hallmark /representation of grapes with leaves on top encircled by flowers.
      It is important to realize that symbols for regions many times were used prior to
      the french patent system, in some cases they were required when an item was produced for export to stamp" Made in France".The locks were required to have the stamp S.G.D.G. prior to the patent systems establishment.After that period we see many of the better makers putting their names into the brass hardware. An example of this in France was in the area of cutlery and silverware where it was required of manufacturers to stamp their goods for identification.(goggle: Hanau Pseudo silver hallmarks or the word Sabatier cutlery on wikipedia) You will see many regional hallmarks for all of Europe.
      Much of Europe (especially France was and is still, based on region, Examples would be: Bordeaux,Le Havre, Lyon, Paris, Cannes, Lausanne,Dijon etc.
      Reim, Champagne could also be a contender. T-man has a wonderful rare french lock with the stamp of the Louvre with a lion that was made during the time of the Grand Maggasins. so these things were common to the time period. It could be the mark of the place where it was sold. Incidentally
      leather lock covers tend not to survive on trunks so you are lucky to have one partially intact. Much luck again with the piece.

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