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Small "Princess" Steamer Trunk by Schmit Trunk Co., Oshkosh, WI

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Trunks1062 of 2604Very large unique trunkAntique  Mid to Late 1800's French Made Doll Trunk
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    Posted 5 years ago

    (2 items)

    Found this sad, neglected beauty, over the summer, at a yard sale. Knew nothing of its story or beginnings, but it was certainly worth some effort to save it. Twenty bucks and I was able to bring it home where it rested in the garage while I finished a few other projects already in-progress - a parlor lamp, two cedar "Sweetheart Hope Chests," and a Pre-War Royal typewriter!

    The remnants of bright yellow and faint gold flecks were obvious, and I never expected any of it to survive removal of the heavy accumulations of rust and dust. But, boy, was I wrong! The little princess proved to be much tougher than I could have imagined! She turned out to be quite a fighter, and along the way, she held onto a few surprise clues to lead me on my way. Around the top metal fastenings shone the most minuscule flecks of red & white. I refused to believe it, at first! Surely, my eyes were tired and playing tricks on me - but, no, the flecks of color were real. Well, I thought next, they must have fallen onto the trunk from some other object. Wrong again. They were stuck on and stubbornly clinging to the rusted metal despite my attempts to brush them away. Okay then, I'll see can I find more. If they belong here, there must be more. On to the remaining fastenings, and no more red turned up. Instead, I found violet and white, then turquoise and white, then green, then blue - I could not believe my good fortune! I had to see it all as it once was! And, so the project began.

    I still don't know what manner of wood is incorporated, but I did not stain it to get the lovely hue that shows around the remnants of original black paint. After brushing it well with a copper-tined brush, I brightened it with a protective layer of tung oil. On the inside, the tray and any other content is missing, except for the ledge upon which the tray should sit, and the lovely portrait of the maiden with the flowers. It's beautiful, I think. The inner-hardware that would serve to keep the lid ajar is missing also, and the paper lining was falling away to dust at every breeze. Do not yet have replacement hardware (if you know where I can find it, do tell), but I was able to coat the crumbling paper with a light fixative that will keep it intact while helping it resist moisture, as well.

    I have said that it is small. Measurements are: 30" L x 22" H x 17" W.

    Thanks to gaining a great lead from a CW post by DooleyInColorado with added follow-up information posted by Drill, I have been able to identify the manufacturer as Schmit Trunk Co. which led to dating of around 1900-1910. Fabulous! If you have more, please, kindly pass it on. Thanks!

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    1. jscott0363 jscott0363, 5 years ago
      You have done a fabulous job at bringing this little treasure back to life!! Stunning to say the least. There are several places on the web that you can get all the trunk hardware you may need. Too many to list. Again, incredible job!!! Welcome to CW!!
    2. Manikin Manikin, 5 years ago
      What a amazing job you did on restoring ! Love it
    3. greendog greendog, 5 years ago
      Hi like your trunk, what was the clue that leads you to believe that it was made by the Schmit trunk co. I have two very much the same, the embossed pattern is called Grecian pattern, it was the most common embossed tin used on trunks between 1885 and 1915. My trunks have no labels or identifying marks other than the date on the slat clamps 1880 which I believe was patented C.A. Taylor, I have seen hundreds of this style of trunk with the same tin, were they all made by Schmit trunk co. ?
    4. Drill Drill, 5 years ago
      Jusluvanan -Nice job bringing it back from the days of rust. The interior label that I see above the lithograph is this one.

      I see no label that says Schmidt Trunk and bag??

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