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The Trunk

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WillysVA's items1 of 3The TrunkMy Old Desk
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    Posted 7 months ago

    WillysVA
    (3 items)

    It took sometime, but I have finished The Trunk. Many thanks go out to Jim Cardoza at HMS Antique Trunks. He was able to find a key for the lock and sell me some needed large old brass-headed nails. He thinks the U-shaped handles were rare, and combined with the leather hinges indicate the trunk is from the 1850s.
    I made a pattern from the small handle pieces left and looked at old photos of similar handles. I had to teach myself a little about leather crafting, but I was pleased with how the handles and closure straps came out. The leather covering the truck was too far gone to save, so it was removed along with all the metal straps and large-headed brass nails. The brass nails were straightened and buffed clean. All metal straps were de-rusted, welding repairs made where needed, then primed and painted. The wooden bottom was removed and repaired, and then reattached. All wood was sanded smooth, and three coats of semi-gloss poly were applied, sanding between all coats. All metal straps were then installed and secured with the large-headed brass nails. The original tray had been lost, so a new tray was sourced and cut to fit the trunk. Nylon sliders were added to the bottom so the trunk wouldn’t scratch floors. New leather hinges were fabricated and nailed the same as the originals. The base wood didn’t look very appealing, so leather was glued to the inside bottom to give it a more finished appearance. A lid stay was installed along with a leather lid-lifter. Overall I have to say I’m pleased with how everything came out.

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    Comments

    1. RichmondLori RichmondLori, 7 months ago
      love to see your work, thanks for sharing.
    2. Drill Drill, 7 months ago
      The trunk really finished out well, great job. I collect trunk advertising. I have only seen two manufacturers advertising that shows that style of handle.Having said that I'm sure there were others.

      Below is advertising from 1845- 1846 Troy Ny. John B. Townsend
      Your type of handle is pictured on a five banded trunk. (Take note of the leather cover that protected the lock.) Yours may have originally had that feature.
      Jim is quite right it is an older handle style that is much harder to find.

      https://digital.americanancestors.org/digital/api/singleitem/image/p15869coll21/16311/default.jpg

      Here is 1851 advertising from Robert Dean of Canada showing a similar style handle on a six banded trunk.

      https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_Canada_Directory_for/bagvAAAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=robert+dean+trunk+maker+montreal&pg=PA244&printsec=frontcover

      Thanks for the post.
    3. WillysVA WillysVA, 7 months ago
      Thanks Drill. The trunk had a lock cover but my wife didn't want me to put one back on the truck. Jim thought that maybe the truck had first come without a lock and it was added later. Have you seen any without locks?
    4. Drill Drill, 7 months ago
      I can't say that I have seen them without a lock, a trunk after all carried valuables
      that people tended to want secure. Having said that, anything is possible it sure could have been added later.

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