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Late 18th Century Log Trunk

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    Posted 12 years ago

    (136 items)

    This box has been in my family for (at least) 132 years. The story goes and the tag on the inside of the box says...
    "Given to Miss Kate E. White by her mother Mrs. Julia E. White 1880 Detroit Mich. Given to Raymond Reed by his mother Mrs. Kate E. White Reed 1919 Lansing Mich."
    Mrs. Julia E. White is my Great, Great, Great (3rd Great) Grandmother.
    Mrs. Kate E. White Reed is my Great, Great (2nd Great) Grandmother.
    Raymond Reed is my Great Grandfather.
    Then it was given to Raymond's son, my grandfather. After my grandfather died, my grandmother gave it to me.
    Plus it may have been in the family prior to Julia.
    So it's been in my family for 5-6 generations. I love it!!

    I have had it looked at, the expert didn't know much about it. Only that it is definitely from the late 1700s, and has a value of around a few hundred dollars.

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    1. trunkman trunkman, 12 years ago
      That's a great trunk. The picture is a bit unclear, but from what I can tell it looks to be a rawhide trunk made around 1820's to 30's. I think the handle on the top may be a later addition, but only if there are no marks on the side where there would have been handles. These were usually made by craftsmen who were familiar with saddle making or carpentry, or both. There are some out there that have similar locks and styles as yours. I have a larger one on my site that has some of the same edging where the brass tacks are. There is always the possibility that someone could have made it from your family if there were handy in this type of trade. Nonetheless, it is unique in that it has been passed down the family line with loving care -- a real treasure! Thanks for posting it.

    2. antiquesareamazing antiquesareamazing, 12 years ago
      Thank you so much, trunkman! Is it really from 1820s-1830s? Wow!!
      I was trying to figure out the lock. Is it not supposed to line up? It confused me.
      All of your information really helped me understand the trunk as a whole!
      Thanks again.

    3. antiquesareamazing antiquesareamazing, 12 years ago
      Also thought I'd add: it's about 14 inches long x 8 inches wide x 7 inches tall.
    4. trunkman trunkman, 12 years ago
      I am not sure what you mean by lining up for the lock -- the plate itself is centered on the box and the latch is not -- with this type of lock you either had to center the top latch or bottom lock plate -- they went with the bottom lock plate. On my site you will see a brass tack trunk that has the same off to the side latch but centered lock. Is your trunk covered in leather or paper? I think yours is more like a letter or document box due to its size. I am pretty confident about the date-- may be even older -- can you post a side view?
    5. antiquesareamazing antiquesareamazing, 12 years ago
      That is what I meant by the lock lining up (the off to the side latch, with a centered lock). The trunk is covered in crumbling paper (unfortunately it looks like it was exposed to water at some point). My great grandfather's school papers were in it, along with a paper that belonged to his mother so it probably is a document/letter box.
      I will post a side view.
    6. antiquesareamazing antiquesareamazing, 12 years ago

      Here's the link to more photos.
    7. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 12 years ago
      Hi, just saw all your pictures of the small trunk. I've studied and collected trunks for about 40 years now myself and have a few round ones of different sizes in my collection. Many people call them log trunks due to the round shape. There are a couple large ones at Mount Vernon, which were owned by the Washingtons. This style was made from the late 1700's to about 1830, and often can be dated by the original old newspaper lining that was used in them. But some were lined with early printed wallpaper too. The brass top handle appears original and they did use these on the small trunks and document boxes of the time. The lock has been changed at some point as that one is a little later style from the 1850's to 1870's. The original lock would have been similar, hand forged iron with a drop down hasp, but without that type of brass keyhole piece. I can also see that the inner workings of the lock are missing, another indication that the original lock was removed as well as the extra nail holes around the replaced lock. The small round trunks are fairly hard to find in complete condition. It's a nice piece. By the way, they also used handmade nails of different styles on these trunks and locks, they don't all have to be rose head nails. Thanks, Marvin
    8. musikchoo musikchoo, 12 years ago
      A Great Keepsake, and with a paper trail alsoDon't let it get away from your Family for sure. Keep passing it along. The True Value here is the Family Connection!!!!
    9. antiquesareamazing antiquesareamazing, 12 years ago
      Thanks for the info, Marvin! My trunk is lined with early printed wallpaper. It's great to know that the handle is original, the lock portion is loose. It stays in place, but moves if you move it. I can tell that they're hand made nails, but they're not rose head nails. Thanks again for the info, it's appreciated!

      Thanks musikchoo! I definitely won't let it get away from my family. I hope descendants will be interested in it and keep it, too. It is absolutely, 100% priceless to me!!
    10. antiquesareamazing antiquesareamazing, 11 years ago
      Just Appraised For $200-$250. Still PRICELESS!

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