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Old steamer trunk

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    Posted 10 years ago

    (3 items)

    I have this old trunk, but I don't know anything about it. I would like to find out more about it and how much it is worth. I've search the internet but haven't been able to find it. Thanks

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    1. Jerry Landsman, 10 years ago
      Looks to be a Half Trunk - steamer style. The corners look to be leather. Slats should be oak and the body pine (covered with canvas). Top, single leather handle; lock should probably be Corbin or Eagle. Should date 1890-1910. The half trunk style is prized by collectors as they were as mass produced as the full sized steamers. Will look great restored. Hope this helps
    2., 9 years ago
      Sorry Jerry, but you are a little off. The trunk is a Hat Trunk. Each one of those sets of 4 leather pieces on each side will hold a hat. It is NOT a Steamer trunk. This is a common misconception, mostly with wardrobe trunks. A Steamer trunk, also called a Cabin trunk, was basically the same size as a travel trunk, but no more than about 14" high. Steamships had a regulation on the size of trunks allowed in the cabin, all others were stowed. Any trunk catalog will show these trunks. The corners are "Fibre", a series of layers of paper that were glued and pressed together making a very durable product. This product came about around 1900. The lock could be one of many that were available at the time, such as Yale & Towne, Excelsior, Corbin, Eagle, and others. The bodies were made of Pine, or Basswood. The slats were a hardwood of Ask, Hickory, Elm or Oak. In my research I have found that Oak was rarely mentioned as being used for slats. You must remember that at the time trunks were being made, tons of furniture was also being made, and Oak was what was used in most cases. Most trunk ads do not disclose the type of wood used for the slats, they just say "hardwood." Most trunk sellers say the slats are Oak, but in reality they (as well as myself) find it difficult, if not impossible to tell the difference between one hardwood and another. Nice trunk.
    3. Lee Sayer, 9 years ago
      trish52-thanks for sharing your item with us-The 1900 Sears catalog devotes several pages to trunks with illustration-descriptions and prices.The orginal catalog is hard to come by but there has been some very good replicas printed.Hve fun in your quest to learn more about your trunk.

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