Posted 5 years ago
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!