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Late 1700's antique Brass Tack Trunk

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    Posted 11 years ago

    (147 items)

    Here is an early 1800's trunk. I am unsure of how early to date this one. I have seen some similar dated circa 1820-40, but they are not exactly the same as this one. I am also unsure of what type or style of trunk this is. The brass tacks look great. It is a small size trunk. Any further clarification would be appreciated. Thanks for having a gander... enjoy the journey of how to date this trunk with me and read through the conversation.

    Mystery Solved
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    1. trunkman trunkman, 11 years ago
      Thanks to packrat, toolate2, walksoftly, scanman, and hunter. Gotta love the love...
    2. Knifeguy, 11 years ago
      The brass keyhole escutcheon is very likely late 18th century and seems to be original to the trunk and the hinge lock is also 18th century style. The handles were also available early on. Of course when dating something you must go by the Latest original part. Are there any nails showing on the bottom of the trunk? What is the trunk lined with? Without further close investigation I would say it safe to say it's C1800 but possibly earlier. You could carefully pull a screw to see if it is handmade (blunt pointed) The slots on the lock look well centered but some handmade screws were. If they are off center they are usually hand made. These were travelling trunks made over quite a wide time frame. Very nice piece in great condition.

    3. trunkman trunkman, 11 years ago
      Wow -- that is fabulous information. I have taken two of the screws out and one nail to show you what they look like. They are indeed blunt at the ends, and all six of the screw heads have small variations in their circumference. The nails are old but I would not know how to date them. Thanks knifeguy but also pretty good at trunkguy stuff. I appreciate your knowledge. Let me know what you think of the new pic.
    4. Knifeguy, 11 years ago
      Hi Trunkman. I was a picker wayyyyy back when and a dealer, collector and appraiser for many years. Was lucky enough to be picking when there was a strong market and great early pieces still out there. I picked a Scottish settlement for a couple of years (in Ontario Canada) and saw and bought maybe 10 tacked trunks. I'm pretty sure that the early ones were made in Britain but some could have been made here a bit later. Those screws are very well cut for hand mades, the nail looks hand forged, if you can take a picture of the head looking down on the top I can tell you for sure. Basically if it is faceted and irregular (not square or rectangular, it's forged. ;-)

      Best regards

    5. Knifeguy, 11 years ago
      Hi again, any chance of a pic of the inside? What are the measurements?

    6. trunkman trunkman, 11 years ago
      So here are a couple of pictures of the nails from above -- they all seem to be irregular. Funny you should mention Ontario -- I picked this up in Toronto off of kijji. I will send an interior shot -- have to take the junk out.
    7. trunkman trunkman, 11 years ago
      Here is the interior -- measures 24" wide X 16"high X16"deep
    8. Knifeguy, 11 years ago
      Yes, they are forged and I think British. Very nice clean trunk. If the nails in the interior corner blocks look original it would have had a lift out top compartment that sat on the blocks. Do the cloth straps look original to you?


    9. trunkman trunkman, 11 years ago
      Hi Robin -- I would say the cloth straps are original -- there are no signs of them having been replaced -- no other nail holes. With this info where you you place the date? And since we are at it -- I have posted a French leather trunk I was trying to date if you care to have a look. Thanks for your input
    10. Knifeguy, 11 years ago
      It's very difficult to date it exactly. Forged nails were not usually used after square nails came into being other than for clenching (You could bend the sharp end over on a forged nail but square nails usually snapped). There is nothing on the trunk that is later like square nails for instance, so I would be conceivable that it's from as early as 1770. The escutcheon is earlier than 1800 likely a looks original to the box. On the other hand it could have been used off an earlier piece;-) It's safe to call it last quarter 18th century. Very neat to have the original cloth straps.


    11. trunkman trunkman, 11 years ago
      Well I can now go to the top of the box and marked "mystery solved". I have learned a great deal today and can now better assess some of my other finds. I knew about hand forged nails, but it is a different thing when you hold one in your hand and really grasp the differences. What an enjoyable afternoon -- thanks for the great info. and all the fun figuring it out.
      all the best,
    12. bushrat bushrat, 11 years ago
      Nice sleuthing Robin. Great exchange of info...what comes from all those years of misspent youth!!
    13. trunkman trunkman, 11 years ago
      Thanks to Robin and bushrat, tomtucker, knifeguy, kaiserlives, pack-ratplace, walksoftly, scandinavianpieces and hunter. I had a lot of fun with this, due to all of your input. Greatly appreciated
    14. trunkman trunkman, 11 years ago
      Thanks Bell and jojomang for the affirmative recognition marker.
    15. trunkman trunkman, 10 years ago
      Thanks petey and collector4evr for the love..
    16. trunkman trunkman, 9 years ago
      For Myranda for reference...
    17. Jewels Jewels, 8 years ago
    18. trunkman trunkman, 8 years ago
      Thanks tons Jewels... this was a fun discovery!!!
    19. Jewels Jewels, 8 years ago
      Oh I bet, my favorites are with the tack details
    20. trunkman trunkman, 8 years ago
      When I first started collecting I had seen these types in an antique village setting called "Upper Canada Village" -- a complete town from the early 1800's -- I never thought that I would come across these-- and usually they are very inexpensive. I now have four from this era...
    21. Jewels Jewels, 8 years ago
      Oh that is awesome and I can see that they are in good hands! :)

      I'm obsessed with this one:
    22. jscott0363 jscott0363, 8 years ago
      Trunkman, That is absolutely incredible!! I love this one!!
    23. trunkman trunkman, 8 years ago
      thanks jscott -- I just treated the canvas and it really came out great -- makes the studs "pop" now...
    24. jscott0363 jscott0363, 8 years ago
      Nice job!! BTW, what would you recommend for protecting the canvas covering on my big green round top trunk. Most of the canvas still has some of the original coating, but I really want to preserve it and I don't really want to have use polyurethane. I prefer something more natural. Any suggestions?
    25. trunkman trunkman, 8 years ago
      Scott -- Drill recommended Howards Feed and Wax wood polish and conditioner for the canvas -- darkens it a bit but gives it a good look -- I just used in on three of my canvas trunks and I love the effect... also used it on my LV with great results...
    26. jscott0363 jscott0363, 8 years ago
      Thanks trunkman!! I will give it a try. Thanks again!

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