Posted 8 months 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 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.