Posted 4 years ago
Hello CW friends!
I recently posted an Irish made patent leather covered wicker trunk that I’ve been working on. I finally completed the cleaning and restoration of that trunk. I’ve been working with this one, off and on, for several weeks now, but it’s been one of the most enjoyable trunk restorations I’ve done in quite a while.
I’m not sure of the age of this one. I’m guessing late 1800’s to early 1900’s. This one is Irish made (no makers label, just a green shamrock label that says "Irish Made") and the first Irish made trunk I’ve ever seen. This style of wicker trunk was generally encased in either oil cloth or patent leather. Being that this style of trunk is made of willow wicker, few have survived. Most I’ve seen were too far past the point of repair or restoration or way overpriced for my trunk restoration budget. So, I was extremely pleased when I found this jewel!
This one took a tremendous amount of cleaning and polishing of the wood slats, brass buttons, brass lock as well as cleaning and conditioning of what leather trim was remaining. The leather strap keepers were dry rotted, all straps and buckles were missing as was the leather lock protector. The stitching on the sides of the lid had mostly broken loose as well.
I fabricated new strap keepers, straps and lock protector, all based off the design that would have originally came on this trunk. I spent a lot of time stitching the trunk lid sides back together as well as stitching the newly fabricated leather lock protector and straps back on. I also replaced the belts and buckles that strap around the entire trunk. Finding leather pieces, that were long enough, was quite a task as this trunk is 88” round! Prefabricated straps only come in a maximum of 60” length. The heavy 3-ply leather handles were in pristine condition and only needed a cleaning and conditioning. As a plus, I even have the original brass barrel key that operates the brass lock just beautifully. I may get around to stitching on a new lock protector securing belt one day soon, but I'll leave it like it is for now.
The interior is completely intact except for the missing tray. Heavily stained, I sprayed down the interior with fabric cleaner and steam cleaned it with high pressure steam. But, 100 years plus of staining just wouldn’t budge. But, that’s ok. At least it’s clean and the musty smell is now gone.
I did a lot of research on this particular style and did my very best to keep this one as original looking as possible. I think it turned out well though.
Sorry for the long winded story:)
I’m very pleased to be able to add a wicker trunk to my collection. Hope you like it as much as I do.
Thanks for stopping to have a look!