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Large Barrel Top Cross Slat Trunk

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    Posted 5 years ago

    (1 item)

    I'm restoring this antique trunk and would love to know any more info I might be missing. Here's what I know. It has a Star Works Lock Pat'd 69 on the front. The lock and hasps are pretty much identical to the trunk posted by Bailey0384 ( So I'm guessing that this trunk was made sometime between 1890 and 1910.
    I'd like to replace or fix the lock and hasps, so if someone knows where to locate the parts I'd very much appreciate it. It's covered in an Alligator Skin embossed tin and has this above portrait of a lady inside - I have no idea who she is supposed to be (a famous figure?), or if the image ever had meaning besides simply being decorative. There was another print inside, but only about a third of it remains. It looks like someone standing next to a dog on a pedestal. The inside was lined with green paper that was in sad shape. All of the hardware was painted brass - I only know because I tried to clean one and the paint started to rub off! Lead paint? That's pretty much all I know about it so far.

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    1. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 5 years ago
      Sure came to the right place, as there are a number of trunk collectors/restorers here.
    2. greendog greendog, 5 years ago

      OK hardcyder, the outside of your trunk suggest that it is from around mid to late 1880's very nice all cast hardware, but the lithograph says around 1900's give or take a bit, because of the style, you might find older lithograph's in later trunks but you won't find later lithograph's in older trunks. Alligator tin patented around 1885 or 86, mixture of cast hardware not sure who it all belongs to, it was never brass in color your hardware was probably tinned and bright sliver in color, trunk has been refinished the green is not original, as for broken or missing parts, the star lock looks just like the one you referred to but missing the lock latch or as i call it the tongue part of the lock, with some digging around you can find one like it or close to it on line, there are several places that sell original parts, I believe your entire lock is brass, from the picture you are missing both lower parts of the #2 lid latches, if you look close at the upper part on the trunk it should have a 2 on it, these also can sometimes be found on line, E bay and such but are in high demand and can cost 40 to 60 dollars usually sold in a complete set, one pair upper and lower but you only need the lower part. As for the lithograph, I've had this discussion before with others, lithographs's were random and had no particular meaning to the trunk or anything else, nor were they of any particular person, they were purely decorative and may have reflected the fashion at the time. I hope this helps you some, if you have any questions please ask someone will help you, greendog.
    3. hardcyder hardcyder, 5 years ago
      thanks for all the info Greendog! You're right, now that I look closer at the hardware, I can see evidence of green paint on the hardware and brass/gold paint on some of the wood around the hardware. Someone went to a lot of trouble to paint it as they did a great job not making a mess of it. Do you happen to know what the original color the tin would have been if it had paint?
      I'm kinda relieved to find out this was not the original paint since I planned on stripping it off the hardware. I'm considering doing the same for the tin.
      The number 2 is almost rubbed off of the lid latches (hasps?), but it's there.
      Too bad the lady in the lithograph doesn't likely have a back story. I kinda figured it wouldn't.
    4. greendog greendog, 5 years ago
      The alligator tin came in many colors, I've seen reds, black, brown, tan, yellow, even a gold color, usually a two tone with dark scales with white or lighter lines, very hard to replicate the two tone look, I've tried, most trunks were painted back in the day with the exception of pure zinc trunks. if this were my trunk, I would completely strip every thing down to bare metal, the wood also, and start fresh but that's just me, greendog.
    5. greendog greendog, 5 years ago
      Also alligator tin was probably the most popular of the embossed tins, I pulled a couple alligator trunks up to the top, the brown looking one is original, just to give you an idea of what it may have looked like, greendog.
    6. Drill Drill, 5 years ago
      Alligator tin pattern patents that greendog spoke of.
      Hillebrand / key guide patents
      link to History of Hildebrand Star lock works....

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