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Seaman's Chest or Immigrants trunk?

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museedescomm…'s loves1 of 19CUBICO teapot and sugar bowl. Porcelanas de Coimbra (Portugal, ca. 1930)Buffers for kyratisation.
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    Posted 5 years ago

    (1 item)

    Hi Folks...
    I bought this chest at auction where it was listed as a seaman's Chest/trunk. Since then, some seem to think its an early immigrants trunk originating in the British Isles...what are your opinions.

    The chest is of oak and what I believe to be walnut trim. It measures 36" wide 19 1/2" deep and 21 inches tall. It is carved as you can see with the initials JAH SD Ano 1710...the hardware is hand forged.



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    1. museedescommerces67 museedescommerces67, 5 years ago
      stunning piece
    2. BHock45 BHock45, 5 years ago
      see if you could find anything here:
    3. melaniej melaniej, 5 years ago
      absolutely love this!
    4. seatime, 5 years ago
      Thank you all for the nice comments...I went to the suggested website but there were not any comparable carvings ...which I suppose adds to the rareness of the chest. If any of you have ideas about the piece please don't hesitate to contact me. I have an appraiser located but am open to all comments.
    5. jscott0363 jscott0363, 5 years ago
      Beautiful trunk!
    6. IVAN49 IVAN49, 5 years ago
      I`d say it`s hope chest,dowry chest, because the top does not look very versatile to be carried and safely kept closed on-board. As far as I can see. Initials of the owner anyway. If so, a piece of American history made by an early immigrant. Again, the way it`s closed at the top was not meant to cross the Atlantic.
    7. francine60 francine60, 5 years ago
      I have a similar carved chest to this mine is around the same age made of English oak, unusually mine is lined in lead (not sure why) we know them here as Marriage chests or Dowery Chests. I also have some pieces of carving off in earlier chest dated 1666 and two sets of initials. They are very expensive here in England and quite rare, always sought after with dates. Yours is gorgeous, I'll load a photograph of mine tomorrow and the 1666 panels, I love those because it's the date of The Great fire of London.
    8. seatime, 5 years ago
      Lets do some detective work:


      First, thanks to you all...some speculation has it as maybe American made. I won't dismiss the possibility but lean toward German or Dutch during the 1708- palentine migration.. The configuration of the top does not lend itself to being stacked onboard a sailing ship but this trunk was made at a time when settlers were streaming onto the colonies. I live in an area that had early Germans among English, Dutch and Irish colonists. 1710 would have been a time Va Lt Gov Spotswood was starting the Germania settlement (now Spotsylvania) with the first wave of colonists arriving in 1714. thus the date on the trunk is even prior to that...nevertheless there were German settlers in Virginia prior to that date. One could speculate the trunk was made in Germany in 1710 in preparation for the trip but this again would place the trunk shipboard and we have been of the mindset that it was not the design that lent itself to crossings. In addition the carvings are more Dutch than German. Dismissing the ocean crossing possibility on the top design basis one could surmise it was made in the colonies about 1710. However, it may have came earlier in Queen Anne’s dispatch of German immigrants in England: Queen Anne, who well understood the policy of England, to retain her own subjects at home, encouraged the emigration of Germans, sent some of those whom she had invited in 1708 and 1709, to Virginia; settled them above the falls of the Rappahannock, in Spotsylvania county, where they commenced a town, called Germania. The locality was unpropitious. They moved some miles further up the river where they soon drove well. From this settlement they spread into several counties in Virginia, and into North Carolina.

      Note that's some Germans went to Holland in the late 1600rds to escaper religious persecution in Germany then to England and America...this would explain the Dutch style carvings on the trunk but conflict with our thoughts about the style of the trunk top not being suitable for ship travel.

      Here is what I am deducing...the trunk is either German or Dutch in manufacture. It is probably linked to the resettling of German/Dutch immigrants that Queen Anne did starting in 1708...Being the trunk of a long hunter is possible but long hunters travelled light and would not have been encumbered with baggage unless they had family and left them behind while on their journeys...the speculation is endless but I have a contact name of the person who offered the trunk for auction and they were of German Baptist decent. I will post any information I get on this fine old piece of history for those of you that are interested in trunks and history. It is quite a fun mystery don't you think..


    9. lee120275 lee120275, 5 years ago
      How can this item only have 17 likes in 15 days and other items which are not 1/100 as good get 60 in one day, beyond belief stunning a real antique.

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