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Unusual Narrow canvas covered trunk..a mystery.. Display trunk?

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fleafinder's loves493 of 2476Priceless Skates? Home Sweet Home Clock
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    Posted 6 years ago

    (32 items)

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

    This unusual trunk has been in my collection for about 12 years now. I bought it from a couple who were renovating an old store in Roanoke, VA and they had found it in the attic. The measurements are 36" wide, 26" tall, and only 6 1/2" deep. I've been collecting trunks and other antiques for over 45 years and I've never come across or seen another one like this in size. Here are some of the more interesting things about it... The front and back are exactly alike with latches and a lock, no hinges on the lid. The locks do work and I have a key. The lid does come off but there is nothing and no paper or fabric lining inside. There are no handles. The bottom has some extra raised metal feet which appear to be original and give it more stability. I've wondered many times what this was actually made for and I've come to my own educated guess, but I'd love to hear your ideas. I believe it was used as a stand up display piece for a store that sold trunks. Some of you have seen pictures of old stores where they had trunks out front or in the window to show some of the trunks they sold. Drill has provided quite a few links to pictures like that in other trunk postings. There are no handles and both sides look like the front. It can be moved to put where they wanted it, probably out front on the sidewalk to let people know they sold trunks. Many old general stores, hardware stores, and luggage stores carried trunks. There were quite a few trunk makers in Virginia that could have made this. It is pretty well made with extra saddler nails (the large head nails on the slats and metal banding). It was black with grime and dirt when I got it so I just cleaned it well and put a little protective clear finish on it. I like using it as a display shelf for some of my antique trunk tins (for coffee, tea, cigars, etc.). Thanks for taking a look!

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    1. greendog greendog, 6 years ago
      I'am going to guess its for transporting priceless art work in, love it. P.S. sorry about all the other stuff TrunkerMarvin, and Merry Christmas to you and everyone at the C.W.
    2. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 6 years ago
      Thanks Bobby725!
    3. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 6 years ago
      Thanks greendog! I also thought it might be for artwork or pictures, but wondered why they wouldn't have put handles on it, maybe on the top, because it's very hard to carry this way being so long.
    4. greendog greendog, 6 years ago
      A mystery that we may never know, I think you may be right, that it was a store front display and never intended to be used for anything. It would make a great wall decoration also, very cool.
    5. greendog greendog, 6 years ago
      P.S., is this the condition of it when you got it, if so that could explain why its in this condition, it was never used for anything but a display.
    6. antiquerose antiquerose, 6 years ago
      Merry Christmas and Happy New year!! Love your posts, and I see you solved your own mystery ( LOL ). As by the last pic posted here, it appears SANTA USED THIS TRUNK ....LOL

      Just kidding !!
    7. jscott0363 jscott0363, 6 years ago
      Now THAT is very unusual!! Never seen one like this before Marvin. Very nice display you have there in pic #3. Merry Christmas my friend and may 2017 be filled with AWESOME trunk finds for you!!!
    8. trunkman trunkman, 6 years ago
      What a great piece Marvin! Love the tin trunks on the top too...
      Another great find we get the pleasure of seeing... thanks!!
    9. Manikin Manikin, 6 years ago
      Unique trunk and great find . Merry Christmas to you and your family
    10. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 6 years ago
      Thanks antiquerose, Scott, trunkman, and Manikin!
      Greendog, yeah, the condition was pretty much the same when I got it, I just cleaned it and did put just a coat of clear shellac to help protect the canvas more. So I don't think it really got used. Plus the fact that it was found in the attic of a store, as if it was just taken there when not used any more and never sold. ??? Wish I had more information on its history.... don't we all on most of our trunks!
    11. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 6 years ago
      Thanks also to courtenayantiques, officialfuel, and vetraio50!
    12. Drill Drill, 6 years ago
      Marvin I 'm guessing all the Cymbals of my drum set are gonna fit in here, and I can now go touring with Glenn Miller and his band again.This little one is sweet.
      Where would Joel & Penman Trunk have displayed this little beauty. On the roof with the others? (Zoom in lower left)

      These folks might know.
      Merry Christmas to all.
    13. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 6 years ago
      Drill, wow, you come up with the best old photos and pictures! Wouldn't you love to go through that Penman trunk warehouse! I'll bet we would find more things we've never seen. That is fantastic with the trunks on front and the wagon full!

      Thanks also Designer!
    14. Drill Drill, 6 years ago
      Yes Marvin I would ,you just never know what you will find in a trunk or two.
    15. greendog greendog, 6 years ago
      I hope Santa's bringing that trunk to me.
    16. Drill Drill, 6 years ago
      This guys selling your trunk Greendog
    17. myoldkyhome myoldkyhome, 6 years ago
      Very cool! What an unusual piece. I can imagine this sitting in the window of an old store luring in trunk shoppers but not taking up a ton of space.
    18. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 6 years ago
      Thanks myoldkyhome! That's what I was thinking too!
      Thanks also to all others for you "love"!
      Drill... another great example of the stores selling interesting old trunks! Thanks
    19. Drill Drill, 6 years ago

      Yes Marvin but my favorites are when they are pictured on the label.
    20. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 6 years ago
      Drill, yes, the labels are great especially when they list so many types of trunks they made. It's interesting that this London trunk maker's store has baby carriages on top and not a trunk, but some did make or sell a variety of things. They also list trunks from India and China, as well as Deed Boxes and Tin Trunks!
    21. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 6 years ago
      Thanks Lisa, fleafinder, trunkingforfun, bjb5859, kyratango, and TheGateKeeper!
    22. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 6 years ago
      Thanks Sean68! Happy New Year everyone!

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