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Completed Jenny Lind

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Trunks822 of 2669Info please! 1700's?Captains Chest
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    Posted 7 years ago

    (14 items)

    I found this Jenny Lind trunk at an antique mall in South Charleston, WV. Someone had started a restoration project, but had not finished it. It was once covered either by leather or paper. Jenny Linds were made in the 1850s and 1860s after Jenny Lind, the Swedish Nightingale, came to America. I had only seen trunks of this type in pictures.

    After thoroughly cleaning the brass bands and nail heads, I sanded the wood with 80 grit and finally 220 grit sandpaper. All metal that wasn't brass got two coats of black paint with a satin finish. I had hoped that Danish oil would be enough, but after three coats I realized that it needed something more. I applied three coats of polycrylic with a satin finish.

    I had hoped that the interior would look good enough without a lining, but it didn't. I first chose a vinyl upholstery fabric that looked like leather, but found that it was too thick for a lining. I then purchased a light teal woven upholstery fabric which worked much better. With my husband's help, we installed new handles, buckles and straps, and rivets. The original tray is missing, but my husband is going to build one to fit it in the near future. The trunk does have a working lock with a key.

    I've really enjoyed this project. I love seeing the beauty of the wood once it has been sanded and coated with the Danish oil and polycrylic. Once the smell has died down, this trunk will be a beautiful addition to my home.

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    1. courtenayantiques courtenayantiques, 7 years ago
      Wow, this looks fantastic! I love the lining - you should be very proud of yourself, very well done!
    2. greendog greendog, 7 years ago
      Jenny Lind, toured the U.S. for two years with P.T. Barnum shows 1850-1852, however this style of trunk was being made as early as the late 1840's in the U.S. prior to the arrival of Jenny Lind. It's some what of a mystery as to how the trunks became known as Jenny Lind's, they were never sold as Jenny Lind's, and I don't believe they were referred to as Jenny Lind's until around 1920's or so. very nice job, looks great, not to nitpick but Jenny's didn't have metal lid stays, greendog.
    3. facstchr9455 facstchr9455, 7 years ago
      Greendog, though the stay isn't in keeping with the age of the trunk, it is important for this grandmother's peace of mind. I have a young grandson who is beginning to move about and explore. Hopefully, this metal stay will protect him in the event that he should open the trunk. BTW, legend has it that Jenny Lind had trunks of this style that were made in London, and that the people here in the US fell in love with them. That's when US trunk makers began making this style, and they were referred to as "Jenny Lind" trunks. All resources I've seen say the trunks were made in the 1850s through 1870s. This particular one that I've restored is considered a "brass bound" Jenny Lind.
    4. greendog greendog, 7 years ago
      That's fine, I was just saying. And that is one story that I have also read, another is that Barnum himself had given her a set of the trunk's, but we will never know, but there is documentation that shows this style of trunk being produced and sold in the U.S. as far back as 1847 or 48, Jenny Lind's name was put on a lot of different items to promote sales. greendog
    5. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      Easy solution. Sell the kid & keep the trunk. LMAO ! Beautiful job !
    6. Drill Drill, 7 years ago
      It is an American made trunk.Having studied the life of Jenny Lind and her travels in the U.S. I have yet to find a Jenny Lind trunk (curved style(loaf of bread shaped/hourglass or straight sided ) with a British label . Let me know if you find proof cause I'm interested. It is important to keep fact separate from legend and story telling.
      I would highly recommend reading Jim's Blog on the link below for a great history from someone who spent enormous time researching this topic in an effort to shed light .Just scroll down.
      link to some history
    7. BryanBoo BryanBoo, 7 years ago
      What an amazing job you did with this piece!

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