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PLEASE HELP IDENTIFY - UNKNOWN TRUNK FIND I WANT TO RESTORE

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Posted 10 months ago

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DennisRS
(2 items)

I found this trunk in an attic of an old house in Hamtramck Michigan. The trunk itself is still on solid condition aside from the leather straps and handles that are dried out and have or are starting to crumble. The exterior of the trunk appears to have some sort of thin metal or tin lining on the entire trunk.

On the center lock I found "USA EXCELSION STAMFORD CONN" stamped into the metal. I also found "No. 660" on a sticker on the side of the trunk. The interior of the trunk appeared to have an old wallpaper or something put on the liner, I cannot tell if it was original or put on by somebody. Not sure if this would help put I did find a Polish newspaper inside from Sept 16 1927.

I really would love to have this trunk cleaned and possibly restored, however I don't want to "ruin" an extremely old and awesome trunk. I would love to put this as a piece in my home and be able to share the history or story of it!. Please help! If you know anything about this or can point me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated!

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Comments

  1. greendog greendog, 10 months ago
    Hi DennisRS, you have a metal or tin covered flat top trunk, judging from the hardware I would say early 1900's up to 1920 or so. I believe that's the Excelsior lock co. they made the lock and not the trunk, no telling who made the trunk without a makers label and I don't see one anywhere. Don't be afraid to clean it, I would start with a soft brush or sponge and Murphy's oil soap and a little water, you will probably want to remove the inner paper, it probably smell's, I use a fabric softener and water in a spray bottle, wet it down good let it soak in a little and scrap it out with a putty knife, wet down as needed, after you have removed the paper, dry it out with a fan do not close while wet, it can mold. you could sand and stain if you like or leave natural.
  2. DennisRS, 10 months ago
    Thanks green dog, I really appreciate the help! I was definitely afraid to start doing anything to it before somebody with some knowledge of trunks had something to say first. Do you think the paper inside is original? The trunk does have a slight musty/attic smell to it but not that bad.

    Maybe as I clean it up and remove that paper I might find a marking of SOME/ANY KIND on it to help guide me as to the journey this thing has had. The only sticker I see on it is that "model 660" on the side but I'm not convinced thats original either. I have a second trunk that I found with this one thats similar (tin covered) but has a slight arch to the lid. I will be posting it in a few minutes, let me know what you think, I'd appreciate it!!!!!
  3. DennisRS, 10 months ago
    I was also thinking about putting a cedar veneer inside as well for storing quilts or afghans.
  4. greendog greendog, 10 months ago
    Yes the paper looks original, any markings you find wont mean much other than maybe trunk size or interior code, I put 1/4 inch white cedar in my trunks all the time, looks nice and smells better. Your other trunk is very similar, different finish, Drill is correct on the finish, have at it, take your time and have fun.
  5. Kathynell5, 10 months ago
    I have one like this that I had redone. I use it as my coffee table. Love it.

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