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Large Oak Slat Trunk

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Drill's loves353 of 525Jenny Lind Doll Trunkanother brass bound civil war era trunk - very cool
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    Posted 6 years ago

    (53 items)

    Found this on Craigslist, very excited to add it to my collection. It is approximately 35 long by 25 tall. The interior tray is missing, the compartment in the lid is intact. It has a key, most of my trunks don't.

    Not sure of the age, it doesn't appear to be as old as the toy oak slat trunks I have, posted pictures of those a few months ago. The metal binding, clamps and corners are brass colored, most of the color has worn off. The majority of the trunks I've worked on the metal binding was black so I would repaint it black to look original. Suggestions welcomed on what to do on the trim.

    Looking forward to working on this one. I will post pictures when it is done.

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    1. jscott0363 jscott0363, 6 years ago
      KathyKay, what an incredibly lucky find!! I've yet to find an oak slat trunk in my area. I wish I could help, but there are other CW members that are much more knowledgeable on the oak slat trunks that myself. I can't wait to see the magic you work on this one.
    2. bjb5859 bjb5859, 6 years ago
      Very Nice KathyKay
      Seen that one as well ,was thinking about buying it myself but didn't want to drive that far,and if you wait more than a day or two it's to late. Sometimes even hours.When they come up on craigslist you certainly have to act fast. I've missed 3 oakslats each under $100. Great place to shop for trunks. Should be an easy restore
    3. trunkman trunkman, 6 years ago
      Fab trunk kathykay -- unusual combination of hardware trim on it. I suppose it is not and excelsior or is it? Great addition to your collection...
    4. KathyKay, 6 years ago
      trunkman - I would say it's not an Excelsior. The look of the materials used and the style of hardware don't go along with the time frame they were made. I do have a full size Excelsior that I need to dig out of my garage and refinish. It needs a lot of work, I've been procrastinating on working on that one. Figure this one will finish up easily, I can get my fix for a slat trunk with less work.

      Lately, I've been motivated to work on the doll size trunks instead of the big ones.
    5. trunkman trunkman, 6 years ago
      Thanks KathyKay -- the reason why I asked is that there are not a lot of known makers of these oak slat trunks so if not Excelsior I would be curious to know who else was out there at the time making them. (Maier -- was another you well know)
    6. Drill Drill, 6 years ago
      Awesome that you got that one ,Saw it ,Ironically was about to send you the link but got swept up in family issues and had to head out the door. So glad it found the right person. You don't really see the brass binding on the ends to often. When do you find original handles?Never. Early 1900s not 1800s from the looks of the hardware.
      Much luck! This I would restore as close to original as possible colors and all.Although I am sure that whatever you do will be wonderful much luck with it.
    7. KathyKay, 6 years ago
      Jim - HMSAntiquetrunks said that Fall River Trunk Co Fall River MA made oak slat trunks. Today I started to work on the trunk and discovered a makers label on the bottom. Most of it is worn off but you can make out River Trunk Co. What is left of the label looks like the one on Jim's webpage for this company.
    8. KathyKay, 6 years ago
      Thanks for the love
    9. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 6 years ago
      Hi KathyKay, A friend of mine in Boston had a slat trunk nearly identical to this one a couple years ago, also had a Fall River Trunk company label. Based on the brass plated hardware and style, it could have been from the very late 1890's to around 1915. There were a couple companies, including Fall River and the Cutter & Cutter Trunk company of Boston that continued to make these until around 1915 or so. Maier didn't really make this style and didn't make them this late. They were not all made of oak and this one may not be oak, but can be ash, and elm. Some of these woods resemble oak, but have a little different grain and color. I'm currently working on a book about the details and makers of these slat trunks. Been working on it a few years and have found some really interesting history about them through lots of research. Nice find and enjoy working on it!
    10. KathyKay, 6 years ago
      Thanks Trunker Marvin. I've started to clean this up it is looking good. As you stated it doesn't look like oak, I'm not that familiar with what the grain in ash or elm looks like so can't say for sure what kind of wood it is. With several coats of tung oil it has a nice warm tone to it. Hoping to get the exterior finished over the weekend, I will post pictures when its done. I haven't figured out what to do with the metal. Both the binding and the slat clamps had a brass look but a lot of it was worn so removed it with a wire brush. Now I'm left with silver colored metal which I like on the slat clamps but might try and figure out a way to get that brass look back on the bindings. I've read that you can tint polyurethane so might experiment with that. I'm open to suggestions on how to get that brass look.
    11. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 6 years ago
      Yes, that metal and hardware had a thin brass plating. You can find some antique brass paint or maybe tint some shellac or poly if you want to try that. I personally don't think it would be bad to leave it as is, or even paint black if you like that look better. But it depends how much of a purist you are I suppose. Generally I like them as original as possible, but sometimes I don't think small changes are a bad thing. I'm sure you will find something that looks good.
    12. KathyKay, 6 years ago
      TrunkerMarvin I sent you via e-mail some pictures of a toy slat trunk that I acquired recently. Appears to be newer than the Excelsior toy I have with different hardware and lock. I'm thinking it was made later and/or by another trunk maker like this full size one was. Not sure if Fall River or Cutter and Cutter also did toy size ones.

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