Share your favorites on Show & Tell

Need to ID steamer trunk

In Furniture > Trunks > Show & Tell.
Recent comments98478 of 132372Nice Mushroom lamp, looking for info.1966-amateur photographer-cameras/photo gear magazine.
Love it
Like it

walksoftlywalksoftly loves this.
epson233epson233 loves this.
pops52pops52 loves this.
Ladibug205Ladibug205 loves this.
valleyvalley loves this.
myoldkyhomemyoldkyhome loves this.
trunkmantrunkman loves this.
musikchoomusikchoo loves this.
See 6 more
Add to collection

Please create an account, or Log in here

If you don't have an account, create one here.

Create a Show & TellReport as inappropriate

Posted 5 years ago


(1 item)

30x16x16. Covered in what appears to be leather. Lock is lions head with serpent and bird heads? Top includes separate divided storage. Can barely make out large stenciled initials "GWS" on side. Could this be Great Western Steamship company trunk?

Unsolved Mystery

Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.


  1. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
    Beautiful trunk -- the lion's head lock is unique. These refinish quite nicely. Usually the initials on the sides of trunks are the owners -- can you make out what it says underneath the GWS? 1860's civil war era trunk.
  2. otucker, 5 years ago
    Not enough detail to make out the lettering underneath. There was also a name tag on the top with faded lettering. The only thing that appears to be obvious is "Ct" at end of lettering so assume it was an address for Connecticut. We have already stripped the old material and the inside and it did clean up very nice. Kept the end piece and name tag with lettering intact for some history. Will post pics after we get it finished. Actually located someone who found the same lions head cover from a lock during metal detecting at a confederate campsite.
  3. trunkingforfun, 5 years ago
    WOW. that is a remakable find, both the individual and the result of their metal detecting. How fun.
  4. valley, 5 years ago
    Going to look nice when restored, if that's your plan.
  5. Ladibug205, 5 years ago
    Have you been able to find out anymore information about your trunk? I just bought a trunk at an estate sale with the same lock on it. My trunk has a domed lid but doesnt have any writing or numbering anywhere on it that I can find. It may be due to the poor condition of the wood.
  6. epson233 epson233, 5 years ago
    hi otucker -- left the following information on ladybugs site -- so will do a copy paste on your site -- do you can make your own determinations based on some excellent trunk info websites -- happy trunking and welcome abroad

    "hi ladibug both you and cw member otucker have the same questions -- so here is my input on this subject

    we all seem to agree that this trunk was made during the civil war era -- you got a real treasure with the lock and probably some of us would kill for it -- you certainly would not want me in the room alone with that trunk and access to a fast car --

    we have also all fiddled and diddled with the all allusive dolphin/eagle lock -- since this trunk is from the civil war times it is highly unlikely we will ever know who made that all illusive design -- patent number will be of no use since the us patent office was established after the war and during the war many documents were lost in a fire -- history on us patent office as follows:

    quite frankly -- i do not think that lock is american made -- way too stylish -- who else but perhaps the french or germans would make something so lovely during that time frame -- certainly resembles none of the american locksmiths lock design i have researched (corbin, eagle, everlasting, excelsior, longlock, national, taylor or yale & towne)

    with that said -- all i can provide you is some nice websites for you to come to your own determinations

    i also highly recommend the following book which should be at your local library or can at least be obtain via illiad

    "antique trunks -- identification and price guide" by linda elderstein & paul pat morse -- isbn no: 0-87349-646-9

    happy trunking kido"
  7. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
    Some times with time the line back to the origin of things gets skewed or lost completely. I was hoping to find out about your lock -- thanks to epson233 I no longer have to wonder.. Makes it even more intriguing..

Want to post a comment?

Create an account or login in order to post a comment.