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Antique Steamer Trunk

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    Posted 5 years ago

    Amamused
    (1 item)

    Got this trunk from a neighbor who was moving, she didn't seem to know much about it. It's primarily wood, not sure what species, with steal trim and accents. The top has a slight dome. The underside is metal. Leather handles (one torn), beautiful ornate hardware.
    I was able to make out the lock imprint... Yale &Townes manufacturing. - Connecticut. There is an AB imprint at bottom edge of lock. No key. I was unable to find any other markings.

    Seems to be in good, unrestored condition. A few scratches and splits here or there. One handle needs repair. Some rips/tears on interior paper. But overall I'd say average or better than average.

    The lock manufacturer was in business from 1869-2001 apparently. So that doesn't help much to date it.

    I'd love to find out more about what I have. Anyone with insight have an idea of maker, age, value, etc.?

    Thanks in advance!

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    Comments

    1. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 5 years ago
      Hello, just wanted to provide a little history information for you. This trunk was originally covered with canvas as most were from that time period and someone has done a pretty nice job of removing it and refinishing the wood. That's what most people do with these if the canvas isn't in good condition. The trunk is a style made by many American trunk companies from the late 1890's to the early 1920's. That's based on many years of research on the trunks, parts patents, and old trunk catalogs. Several trunk catalogs I have from about 1896 to 1920 show similar trunk models. Most of the trunks were made of pine with hardwood (usually elm or ash) slats, but some trunks were made from basswood. The metal parts have been cleaned off also and were originally painted black or japanned. The AB on the lock is the key code and those keys can be found if your interested. This size trunk was often called a "dress trunk" by the makers, but they were used by men and women for general travel purposes. The "steamer trunk" was a short model only 13 to 14 inches tall, by regulation from the steamship companies. These trunks always had one or more lift out trays inside and were usually lined with paper or fabric. My best estimate of the age of your trunk is about 1910, but they did make this same style into the early 1920's. I wish I could share some pictures with you from the old catalogs. Enjoy your trunk!
      Marvin ThisOldTrunk.com
    2. Amamused, 5 years ago
      Gosh thanks Marvin! Early 1900's is close enough. The person I got it from had no idea, I'm not sure how she came into it. Any idea who the manufacturer is?
      So it's technically not a steamer trunk but a 'dress trunk' you're saying?
      The interior is paper, with some tears here and there. It's a mauve colored background w/ a white print. There is no shelf, so that must have been removed at some point. You said keys were available, I know the company is no longer in business. Where would I find those? Curious it's appx. value. Any idea? Thanks so much for commenting!
    3. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 5 years ago
      Hi, As I mentioned many American companies made this type trunk with the same hardware, but many are found without a maker's label. So I can't tell you the manufacturer. Yes, I'm staying this is not a "steamer trunk" but is a style often called a "dress trunk". I have a variety of trunk keys I've collected and sometimes sell one, so you can contact me directly at Marvin@ThisOldTrunk.com for more information, as this is not a sale or appraisal website.

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