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Small Size antique trunk

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Recent activity942 of 1851711955 matched pair NOS SUNOCO signs.Pair of mid century lamps atomic hairpin
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Posted 1 year ago


(9 items)

Another nice trunk I picked up this year.
Haven't seen many trunks this size before,
about 26" long and 12" high.
Hardware and metal have been repainted but really nice condition overall.
Would love to hear anymore info, insights or comments on this one.
Thanks :)


  1. greendog greendog, 1 year ago
    Hey aroc, this is what they call a civil war era trunk, this was probably covered in paper, I see it has wood handles, with very little metal. looks like it had leather straps and buckels at one time, probably dates prior to 1872 or so. I have read that trunks were covered with paper with very little metal and leather because those materials went to the war and U.S. army at that time, very nice love it.
  2. aroc, 1 year ago
    Hey greendog, thanks.. Yeah, that makes sense. handles are wood with what look like crimped tin holders with nice detail. I've removed one photo and added a photo of 2 "coins" that are nailed on top of the trunk.wondering if anyone knows what they might be. I think too thin to be actual currency.
  3., 1 year ago
    Your trunk is most likely a Packing trunk or "Packer". These trunks were used in the same way we would use a box to pack things in when moving. You could use them for traveling but they were very lightweight, and generally did not have any sort of tray. These were the least expensive trunk you could buy and they came in sizes from 20" to 40". I have a catalog from 1897 that shows that exact trunk (with the paper on, and the wood handles) and will be happy to provide you a copy. Many people get confused about this style of trunk because of the lock. That 1869 patent lock was still being used on packing trunks in 1897 or longer as it was simple, and cheap to produce. Paper covered trunks were used before the Civil War, and long after on entry level trunks. While the use of leather during the war was substantial, so was the increased production, and I have yet to find any evidence on the impact on leather trunks. However, judging from how many leather covered Civil War era trunks there are out there, I would say the impact was negligible. Like many of the trunk stories floating around out there, the "paper because of the war", sounds good, but the fact is paper covered trunks had their place despite the war. That being said, I would place the trunk from the early 1870's to the mid 1880's. A photo of the interior would help date it more accurately.
  4. aroc, 1 year ago
    Thanks Jim, and thanks for your continued contribution to this community.
    I wondered if you knew what the small brass looking "coins" that are nailed onto the trunk in the far right picture might be?
  5., 1 year ago
    I am stumped on the "coins" My guess is that it was something the owner, or baggage dept. put there.
  6. Drill Drill, 1 year ago
    Search war of 1812 brass button images, you will find many regimental numbers
    this could....I say could... be a possibility . They certainly might be something other than an old proud soldiers display of the regiment.
    much luck.
  7. FatBoy64, 1 year ago
    aroc, I'm pretty sure you're first impression is right and that those aren't coins of any kind. I'm no expert but I've messed around with coins a bit and have been into civil war store cards for a while and I haven't seen any kind of coin or token that looks like those.

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