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Info please! 1700's?

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Trunks787 of 2635The trunk my grate fine for the year Completed Jenny Lind
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    Posted 5 years ago

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    Hello! I just purchased this trunk to use as a storage bench and I'd love to find out more about it. I'm mostly interested in general age and where it may be from. It is 51" long, 23" deep, and 24" tall. I purchased it from an antique store and the tag said "Immigrant trunk from the Revolutionary War era". It apprears to have been painted a few times (blue and orange paint specks), stripped, and stained. The brass (?) corners and front plate have stain on them, and I am going to try to clean them up. The nails, hinges, and handle are hand forged. I would appreciate any info you can share, or advise on how to date it and pinpoint where it may have been made. Thank you!!!
    * I'm sorry that 2 of the pictures are sideways :/

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    1. greendog greendog, 5 years ago
      American Revolutionary war 1775-1783, I suppose it could date back that far, but who really knows, people can write anything on a tag, but without some kind of documentation, its hard to prove. Its definitely early Immigrant. From around 1790 to 1810, most nails were entirely made by hand, in the 1790's a machine designed to cut the shank of the nail, reduced the hand labor to just hand forming the head, so its very hard to pin point exactly when a trunk such as this was made by looking at the nail heads, and impossible to say who or where it was made, I have one made in the same manner, and I believe it dates from 1780 -1820, I think yours could be in that same time period. The little box inside was referred to as a candle box, hope this helps some, greendog.
    2. scottvez scottvez, 5 years ago
      Much later from what I see, more of "in the style of" of an earlier piece with SOME of the hardware giving an early appearance.

      The simple lap joint with metal corner pieces to reinforce looks like very late 19th/ early 20th century. Additionally, the grooved out underside of the lid doesn't show a great deal of age.

    3. greendog greendog, 5 years ago
      Very possible scott, I did not notice the lapped corners at first, the corners on my trunk are hand cut dovetail joints. greendog
    4. greendog greendog, 5 years ago
      I'am not saying that this is an earlier piece that someone tried to pass off as a much older piece, but it happens. The way things are made and the materials used are only clues to when something was made, trunks like this were hand made with no hard fast rules as to how, maybe the maker didn't want to dovetail the corners, its possible, if its that important, try to find an expert in your area and get a hands on opinion. greendog
    5. Gail43215, 5 years ago
      Thank you for your comments, I appreciate your insight. I got it for a great price, and chose it because it perfectly fit the space I was looking for. I'm not too concerned if it isn't 18th century, but I do like the idea of all of the history that comes with anything that old. The corners are dovetailed, the joints are hard to see in the pictures. Additionally, the lid is made from one piece of wood, all carved by hand. Somewhere down the line it cracked, and someone held it together with wood pegs (still holding strong!), and at some point a piece of the lip broke off and someone replaced it. It all adds to the wonderful character. Thanks again!
    6. greendog greendog, 5 years ago
      If the corners are dovetailed, then I hold to my dates that I stated, but remember that's just my opinion. greendog
    7. Gail43215, 5 years ago
      Thanks greendog!
    8. greendog greendog, 5 years ago
      Let me ask this, do the dovetail cuts appear to be by hand, with different sizes or do they appear to be machine cut, all looking exactly the same ?
    9. Gail43215, 5 years ago
      I added a photo, they appear to be similar in size and spacing, with slight variations.
    10. greendog greendog, 5 years ago
      Definitely hand cut, your trunk is much earlier, rather than later, greendog.
    11. Gail43215, 5 years ago
      Great, thank you!

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