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1700's (?) Dome Steamer Trunk

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    Posted 4 years ago

    (1 item)

    This antique steamer trunk belonged to my deceased cousin and was part of her estate sale. It seems she'd had it since the mid 50's and probably refinished it. She believed that it was dated from the 1700's. I'm curious about whether this is the case.

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    1. Im4anythingOld, 4 years ago
      There should be maybe a date on the lock, but that won't give you the year it was made but more of an approximate 1800's decade. The one I had listed below has an 1883 lock and other dated hardware, but again that could have been used for the next decade even in 1893. The slats running from front to back verses end to end was patented in 1880 called the new design, so for sure it's no earlier than 1880. It looks like the front shoulder and valance clamp on the left has been replaced with a different version. None the less it is 1880's 1890's as I was forced to place on the one I just provided the link for below, which is fine and close enough for conversation.
      For a value, Marvin at Thisoldtrunk can do that at a great price as far as I am concerned. I'm not sure if Jim at Hmsantiquetrunks does it or not but you can try him as well.
      Nice trunk, I would like to see the inside. Fatboy64 on this site has one that shows what the interior should look like for this trunks shape/style.
    2. ktainter ktainter, 4 years ago
      I checked the lock, if there is a maker's mark, it's been painted over. There are tiny castors on all for sides that appear to be made of wood? The inside of the trunk was refinished with a cardboard siding(stapled in, definitely not original), which I removed from one side, just to see what was under it. It appears to be bare wood.
    3. Im4anythingOld, 4 years ago
      Your casters should be metal and looks like it to me. Someone may have put wood ones in its place because they were seized and worn flat or missing. Yours looks like the typical flat spot one can find on the metal wheels. Just use a magnet and see if it sticks, just on the wheel though, that should tell you as they do look like they have been painted.
    4. Im4anythingOld, 4 years ago
      Your left latch I just noticed has been changed as well. Both the latch and your corner front shoulder looks to be from an early twentieth century trunk.
    5. ktainter ktainter, 4 years ago
      I see what you mean the left top latch is different. The wheels are metal, at least two of them are...
    6. Im4anythingOld, 4 years ago
      I notice as well you have the acorn pattern metal covering. I personally am not sure of the patent date of this pattern, maybe Drill or some others may know. This pattern date may help signify 1890's or leave you with a time frame still of 1880's or 1890's. My trunk has just the plain flat metal which is of no help in determining a decade. I think that's about it for your trunk.
    7. ktainter ktainter, 4 years ago
      Also, just for context the dimensions are 36"w x 23"d x 32"'s huge.
    8. Im4anythingOld, 4 years ago
      32" tall by 36" long does make for a huge trunk. This trunk is 39" Long by 32" tall the only one I have seen or have that is this big and indeed represents itself as HUGE.
    9. ktainter ktainter, 4 years ago
      So I was able to find the makers mark on the lock, which seems similar (diamond shape) to the lock on one of your other trunks. It appears the initials are OL.
    10. ktainter ktainter, 4 years ago
      I can see that the right latch is a Number 4 Cast Iron Taylor Patent Antique latch. The left looks like a Taylor, but not the same kind.
    11. Im4anythingOld, 4 years ago
      I see the O, but the L? On this part of the lock it could be your key number for the lock. The paint looks pretty thick on this, I would use some furniture stripper to clean the lock off as it looks to be brass. Any name is usually on the front and you don't want it all scratched up as I see you have done on the back.... for sure a sense of orderly patience is required here, as you don't want to ruin the face of your lock or the back for that matter especially if it is brass, there no turning back from deep scratches.
    12. Im4anythingOld, 4 years ago
      The number 4 latch was used for many decades so its not really much help in pin pointing one of the two decades in question.
    13. ktainter ktainter, 4 years ago
      I appreciate the cautionary advice. I will keep rubbing it down with turpentine and trumpet oil and scratch with my fingernail... part of the appearance is because I'm using a led flashlight and a zoom lens. I took a pic from a different angle, it doesn't look like an L, more like a welding spot (or the 1880's equivalent).
    14. ktainter ktainter, 4 years ago
      thanks for you all your insight,
    15. Drill Drill, 4 years ago
      Here are just some of the patent images that Tom previously mentioned.
      Remember it can never be older than the patent dates,These patents were used for well into the 1890's even the 1900's.Without an actual label it's hard to say who made it as there were many makers.Thanks for the post.

      Lock patent 1886

      corner patent 1879

      Taylor cross slat patent 1880

      Taylor box fastener 1881

      Taylor box fastener description

      Below is an advertisement from 1874 for just one of the many makers.This maker was awarded a premium prize in 1872. The one advertised is an older all leather version of this higher round top shape. I show this only for context of it's shape, note the leather straps instead of fasteners as was indicative for trunks of the 1870's.,Keen+trunks&pg=PA1114&printsec=frontcover
    16. Drill Drill, 4 years ago
      Incidentally here is the 1859 Jacob Parker patent that is mentioned in the above Cincinnati Directory 1874 advertisement.Enjoy!

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