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Antique Oak Slat Trunk

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    Posted 12 years ago

    (148 items)

    This is a rare oak slat trunk. There are four things that make it stand out. The first is that it is a bevel top trunk. The second is that it has two alternating colors of oak slats. The third is the number 207 on the trunk lid, which is original to the trunk because there is no original stain under it. The fourth is that all of the slats are grooved. Other features include the cast iron fingering and the wrap around slat clamps. I picked this little gem up off the classified adds. It had been painted over with a gold paint, which I painstakingly removed. I know that there were four main makers of these trunks, one being El Paso, Clinton, the other two Maier and Excelsior. I could not find an example of either El Paso or Clinton for this category of trunk for comparison. This trunk does not match any of the characteristics that I have seen for M Maier or Excelsior. (it does have a weave pattern on the cast iron corners similar to Taylor) which makes me wonder who could have made this fine piece of workmanship, since there are only a handful of makers of this type and quality. I am open to suggestions. I am also curious as to the reason for the number on the trunk. Is it a model number of the trunk, or perhaps a room or cabin number? Has anyone seen a number on a trunk like this one?

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    1. stefdesign stefdesign, 12 years ago
      No clue, but it's stunning!
    2. jon5412 jon5412, 12 years ago
      Wow that is a trunk,do you have any idea how old it is? It reminds me of a treasure chest.I could see that in a home.
    3. trunkman trunkman, 12 years ago
      Thank you. The latch is dated June 21st 1878, so around that date.
    4. toolate2 toolate2, 12 years ago
      You've probably already checked this site but if not, it's a good one:

    5. trunkman trunkman, 12 years ago
      Thank you all for your comments -- much appreciated.
    6. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 12 years ago
      Hello trunkman,
      That's a very interesting slat trunk you have. Maybe you have seen the oak slat trunk I listed here about a year ago. I've been doing a lot of research on these trunks for a few years and I'm now working on a booklet about their history and the makers. While the trunk does not have a maker's label, that is not unusual for these. As you may know, many fine trunks are found with no label, but we are able to identify some by the patented hardware or other characteristics. I have a collection of various types and styles of the slat trunks, a few which do have maker's labels in them including Maier, and of course the Excelsior marked trunks as well as others. While I cannot tell you for certain who made your trunk, it actually has a couple features that are more like Martin Maier made slat trunks than any other known maker. Those would be the type of slats which are beaded (not originally called grooved) and the alternating color slats. Martin Maier also made other "beveled" top slat trunks which are similar to this, but I have not found them yet with the Taylor style edge hardware such as yours. It's true that those latches were patented in 1878 (by Charles Taylor) but they were used for many years after that and by many other trunk makers. The same holds true for the finger style hardware around the edges. In fact Taylor even used the same hardware on their trunks until about 1920 which is proven by their catalogs and trunks from the early 1900's. My point is that this trunk can definitely be later than 1880 and probably is. It is even possible that Maier made the trunk as some of their trunks have been found with various styles of hardware. But the hardware style is typical of trunks made in the Chicago area and around the midwest, so it could have been made by another midwestern company in the late 1880's or 1890's. The Clinton Wall Trunk Co. of Clinton, MA made some oak slat trunks, but they were all Wall trunks with their own special patented trunk hinge from 1890 and later. The only trunk from the El Paso Slat Trunk Company was reported by me, when I saw it with it's original label in a museum. Nobody else has ever reported seeing another one from El Paso including me, so apparently they are quite rare and I don't believe the company was in business very long as no records have been found on the company. If anyone out there has one I would love to hear about it. I don't know what the number label means, but I doubt it was a model number as they just didn't have a reason to do that. It is probably some other identifier put on for the owner or by the owner. I have found other trunks with numbers painted on them, but not with this type tag. Trunkman, I would like to talk with you more about your trunk, so please contact me sometime by email at Marvin@ThisOldTrunk .com. Thanks!
    7. senor_trunk senor_trunk, 12 years ago
      wow is all i can say
    8. trunkman trunkman, 12 years ago
      Appreciate the visits and comments senortrunk, boonsboro, youngpickers96, packrat, toolate2, rocker-sd, Jon5412, cwok, vitaro5o, marvin and a special thank you to stefdesign, who was my first real live contact on CW.
    9. collector4evr collector4evr, 12 years ago
      JUST GREAT!!
    10. roundtwovintage roundtwovintage, 12 years ago
      Gorgeous trunk!
    11. trunkman trunkman, 11 years ago
      Thank you spiritinthesky3 and Belling68 and passion4trunks and the many others who have commented and visited this trunk.
    12. trunkman trunkman, 11 years ago
      Thank you disneypoppop and sean68 for the visit!
    13. trunkman trunkman, 11 years ago
      Thank you lundy and officialfuel for the visit!!!
    14. Trunker, 10 years ago
      Really really beyond nice find! I am just taking a stab in the dark as to why there is a number on this trunk. People number things for a reason, mostly to identify something or to keep track of multiple items that are the same. I doubt that there were 207 of these trunks. Maybe it was a way to identify your trunk, like a baggage claim identifier. Maybe the person received this trunk as a gift from someone and the number 207 meant something to them personally. I was thinking maybe a company anniversary or something but nobody cares about the 207th anniversary it would have been the 200th or 225th anniversary. Maybe it belonged to a train engineer and his locomotive was numbered 207. Just thinking out loud I guess. Great trunk anyway!
    15. trunkman trunkman, 10 years ago
      Thank you SherwoodTrunks, Radegunder and Trunker for the love...
    16. VanessaT, 10 years ago
      I love your trunk collection and this one is my favourite, it's fabulous.
    17. trunkman trunkman, 10 years ago
      Thanks VanessaT for the lovely comment -- this one is my showcase one in my living room -- the picture does not do it justice -- great puzzle box collection by the way -- cool thing to collect and a lot smaller than trunks, I am running our of room!
    18. trunkman trunkman, 10 years ago
      Couple of new pics for an old trunk....
    19. trunkman trunkman, 10 years ago
      Thank you fortapache for the love...
    20. trunkman trunkman, 10 years ago
      Thank you Elisabethan for the love..
    21. trunkman trunkman, 10 years ago
      Thank you fortheloveofdog forheloveoftrunk...
    22. trunkman trunkman, 9 years ago
      Thank you so much for the lovely comment CindB !
    23. Jewels Jewels, 9 years ago
      It's so beautiful! Really! Very nice!
    24. trunkman trunkman, 9 years ago
      Thank you so much Jewels for comment and the love....
    25. trunkman trunkman, 9 years ago
      Drill -- Marvin has given me some great info on this trunk -- any thoughts from you as to who would have made it?
    26. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 9 years ago
      Hello again, I wanted to say that now after more research on these and upon finding a couple of the slat trunks made by the McLeod & Shotten trunk company of Montreal Canada, I believe this trunk may have also been made by them. I have purchased a couple slat trunks of theirs in the past couple years and they also used the beaded slats such as on this trunk. My trunks are both barrel top styles, but these companies made a variety of styles, not all just alike. Without labels in them we may never know all the makers of a few of these trunks.
    27. trunkman trunkman, 9 years ago
      Marvin -- thanks again for your feedback on this. It is great to try to do some sleuthing on these types of trunks given the amount of skill required to make them as well as their rarity. Unless someone comes up with the exact trunk that has a label it will remain somewhat of a mystery. I would love to see a pic of the McCleod and Shotten trunk for comparison if you get the chance.
    28. Trunkcollector, 7 years ago
      Great trunk and informative posts. Wood slats that have "grooves" are called fluted slats (pronounced like Flute, the instrument). I've seen up to four per slat thus the more fluting the higher end trunk it is.
    29. trunkman trunkman, 7 years ago
      Trunkcollector thanks for the new information- always helpful to learn more.
    30. trunkman trunkman, 7 years ago
      Ps. Welcome to collector's Weekly - hoping to see some of your collection.
    31. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 7 years ago
      Hello fellow trunk collectors.. I don't want to cause any argument, but according to an 1880's trunk parts catalog I have and other old trunk catalogs the grooved slats were originally called "Beaded slats". So, some can call them fluted or other names now but this is based on old trunk related documents. Thanks!
    32. jscott0363 jscott0363, 7 years ago
      Wow T-man!! I've seen a lot of oak slat trunks and this has to be the most incredible and unique oak slat trunk I have ever seen. Everything about this one is over the top beautiful!
    33. trunkman trunkman, 7 years ago
      Thanks so much js... it is unusual for sure..still little idea of who made it.

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