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Antique Au Depart trunk and provenance

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    Posted 3 years ago

    (50 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 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.

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    1. greendog greendog, 3 years ago
      Very cool!
    2. jscott0363 jscott0363, 3 years ago
      So VERY cool!! The history, of this beautiful French trunk, makes it even that much better. Great find!!
    3. MMNJ MMNJ, 3 years ago
      Thanks guys!
    4. Drill Drill, 3 years ago
      A wonderful example of AuDepart
      Below is a link to the company history enjoy!
    5. trunkman trunkman, 3 years ago
      Awesome trunk! Fabulous example of a great trunk maker!
    6. MMNJ MMNJ, 3 years ago
      Thanks guys. I’m glad the brand is back. I’ve added an update on the trunk’s provenance above.
    7. MMNJ MMNJ, 2 years ago
      Sorry, I’m keeping it to store some of my other treasures. Plus this forum is not for posting items for sale.

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