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Antique Au Depart trunk and provenance

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    Posted 8 months ago

    (9 items)

    I found this antique 1890s-1910s era Au Depart trunk, featuring its signature damier check pattern, curbside in the NJ suburbs of NYC. Based on a note pasted inside and a monogram stenciled on the sides, I traced it back to its original owner, Mary C. P., born in Paris, who married Lt. Col. Earl B. H., a US soldier wounded above the heart at Argonne during WWI. Mary went on to become a skeet shooting champ in Washington State after the war. The trunk’s erstwhile contents were listed inside and included minks, fox furs, a Breton dress- and a shooting stick! The trunk was labeled with an address of the Cumberland Hotel in NYC, a building that still stands (though it’s no longer a hotel) at Broadway and 54th.
    Update: I was in touch with the daughter of Mary’s cousin, who is an artist- and a wonderful lady- living in NYC. She remembers the trunk being shipped to her family home when she was a girl! The trunk originally belonged to Mary’s mother, who was also an MCP, so the stenciled monogram is the same but it moves the possible date of the trunk back by a decade or so.

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    1. greendog greendog, 8 months ago
      Very cool!
    2. jscott0363 jscott0363, 8 months ago
      So VERY cool!! The history, of this beautiful French trunk, makes it even that much better. Great find!!
    3. MMNJ MMNJ, 8 months ago
      Thanks guys!
    4. Drill Drill, 8 months ago
      A wonderful example of AuDepart
      Below is a link to the company history enjoy!
    5. trunkman trunkman, 8 months ago
      Awesome trunk! Fabulous example of a great trunk maker!
    6. MMNJ MMNJ, 8 months ago
      Thanks guys. I’m glad the brand is back. I’ve added an update on the trunk’s provenance above.

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