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Scarce 1880's True Barrel Top Canvas Hat Trunk

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Drill's loves100 of 525Dome Steamer Trunk - Victorian Late 1890's - 1910 (+-) Martin Maier :  Steel Bound Roll top Trunk
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    Posted 2 years ago

    (91 items)

    Picked this little fellow up last weekend. not really sure of a decade though.  No maker label...I was hoping though.  It measures in at 24 L x 24 H x 18 deep. This would be my first Half Trunk and was lucky enough to find it complete with original tray.  I called this a true barrel/dome top simply because it has the double curve as all of my image research for half trunks shows them to be a single curve (which they call dome top) in a tall or almost flat format but still in the roll top classification and then there's the flat top. Very tough to find an image of a barrel/dome top half trunk.
      Origin??  To start ..... the covered over hinges on the back and the style of end handles, coupled with the interior fabric and tray style, makes one think that it's an overseas trunk.  The dome top, front hardware, handles, and the large goldrush type button leans toward a North American trunk.  Not really sure what to make for a personal classification. Any thoughts would be appreciated for sure. Thanks.  
        Other interesting attributes are it has some extra metal details on the front & lid corners.  The lid face gets a con vexed curve and the top gets a concave curve.  This top concave curve, creates rectangle with rounded corners for the top face outline. This is a little different from most being squared off in some way.  Also on the topic of the metal,... in the latch photo and some others you can see the nails used.  There are clinch nails in the slat hardware but the rest of the nails for the metal work are flat and all pretty much different due to the cutting method or something. I have never come across this nail type before and it to makes me think it's a trunk from overseas.  Also of interest are the brass buttons on the dust band and lid lift, as well as, the embossed buttons for the interior lid ribbon, both are most unusual.  Missing the original 4 wheels & two slat clamps but have extra parts to cover those. Overall the canvas is not torn or ripped anywhere but for the two slit sections over the back hinges which can be cleaned up a bit, so having the good canvas leaves an extra option when a restoration time comes. This one filled another void for me and I hope you find it as interesting as I have.

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    1. greendog greendog, 2 years ago
      The cross hole latches on the front were patented in 1882 and look to be original to the trunk, I say that because people had upgrades added if leather straps broke which wood make a trunk older than it appears, I see no signs of it having leather straps at any time, so I wood say 1880's, I'm surprised to see metal handles on it also but again they look original, I was told by Jim Cardoza that dome top, round top and camel back are all slang terms made up by people to describe a trunk, they were never sold as the aforementioned, this is a barrel top, I wood say american, I believe all the hardware is american, the slat clamps from around 1870, looks like american lock, and like I said latches 1882.
    2. Im4anythingOld, 2 years ago
      Thanks for the input Brian. I know latches in general are from 1872 and after but don't have any patent info on the cross front latches, just catalog images. So your dates helps for sure. Thanks!!
    3. Im4anythingOld, 2 years ago
      Thanks for the loves from Lady_Picker , TheGateKeeper, Watchsearcher, blunderbuss2, & fortapache much appreciated!!
    4. Drill Drill, 2 years ago

      J.H.Sessions trunk fastener 1882

      J.Roche lock 1889
    5. Im4anythingOld, 2 years ago
      Thanks for the Data Drill very much appreciated!!
    6. Im4anythingOld, 2 years ago
      Thanks for the loves!! FatBoy64, AntigueToys, bjb5859, kwqd & officialfuel
    7. trunkman trunkman, 2 years ago
      Beautiful trunk... so hard to find this type/style. Lovely!!
    8. Im4anythingOld, 2 years ago
      Thanks Elliot!! Hard to find indeed as you say, and my research showed the same that's why I deemed it scarce. Wikipedia luggage stipulated the same point regarding this true barrel top style on a half trunk or hat trunk. To find such a trunk with the original interior was just as exciting. Thank again!!
    9. Im4anythingOld, 2 years ago
      Thanks for the love there also EJW-54 much appreciated!!
    10., 2 years ago
      Here is some information I hope you will find useful. Your trunk was sold as a Hat Trunk. Or not, here is where it gets confusing. Many regular trunks were sold as small as 24" and Hat Trunks as large as 26". Also Hat Trunks could be bought with or without a tray and with or without hat forms. I have dozens of catalogs from 1850 to 1930, and these were never called Half Trunks. This was, and is, a slang term that is often used. Barrel top (barrel stave top construction) trunks were as common as other trunk styles, and I have a few. Your trunk was most likely made in England, or Canada. I have seen similar from other countries as well. Our trunks were often copied and even used our hardware, like latches. Yours is from the 1880,s to 1890's. Here are some clues to why this is a foriegn made trunk. The handles are a dead giveaway as these were used on foreign trunks, not American made trunks. You canvas has a larger thread, looser weave than our trunks. The stripped interior was extremely popular on foreign trunks.     The lock looks British to me. The metal used on foreign trunks was thinner than what we used and therefore after time a lot of wrinkles appear. The large button head nails on the slats was popular on those trunks long after we stopped using them. Even the nails they used were different as foriegn trunk nails had a flat head as opposed to a dome head. With trunks, as with anything, there are exceptions,  but with everything combined I believe it was not made in America. This is not a negitive, in fact it is a plus. We don't often get a chance to see such a nice example of a foreign made trunk. I will happily send you some catalog photos if you like. Hope this helps,
    11. Im4anythingOld, 2 years ago
      Thanks so much Jim for taking the time, it is indeed much appreciated. I would love to see some images for sure. Out of your input regarding the various attributes it follows my thoughts & yes there are exceptions to every rule, but having 120 trunks this one is the only one with these types of nails. So the nails more than the other aspects pointed to out of country for me. I seemed to have missed the back image in my photos for some reason, so I have now put it in to complete the overall view. Thanks again Jim for your input and clarification it is always and very much appreciated!!
    12., 2 years ago
      Your welcome. Email me and I will send photos.
    13. Im4anythingOld, 2 years ago
      Thanks for the love! Sunmoon2679

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