Posted 2 years ago
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 Crosby Peckham, born in Paris, who married Lt. Col. Earl Barlow Hochwalt, 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 named Mary Crosby Peckham, so the stenciled monogram is the same but it moves the possible date of the trunk back by a decade or so.