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Steamer Trunk Yard Sale Find

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Trunks2142 of 2589Green Steamer TrunkAntique Trunk
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    Posted 8 years ago

    RosaLeeMcF…
    (1 item)

    I JUST picked up this metal steamer trunk project at a garage sale .
    Problem is it is very rusty and the leather handles have rotted off (the remnants are inside of it). I don't know a thing about it and have so many questions. Anyone have ideas of age, maker? What kind of metal it may be and how to treat the rust and presumably wood on the top?
    The latches on the front read PAT JUL 972. The ornaments on the top are quite rusty but appear to read Alonarige. Inside one (stamped metal?) hinge is missing and the other is detached.
    I'm so excited to restore it (a DIY girl at heart) but not so eager that I'm willing to jump in blind and do something that may hurt it in some way. It's a gift for my husband who always sulks away from the expensive steamer trunks at antique stores like a kid being dragged away from the playground.
    Thanks for any restoration/dating/maker info that you're willing to share.

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    Comments

    1. RosaLeeMcFall, 8 years ago
      ***Wait....The ornaments on top actually read PATO MAR 188 or MAR 168. It's really hard to tell.
    2. trunkman trunkman, 8 years ago
      You have picked yourself up a lovely 1890 to 1910 barrel top trunk. The inscription on the lock reads "patented on July 9th 1872" -- the year the hardware design was registered but not necessarily the year of the trunk. Without a maker's label you will be hard pressed to know who made it, as there were many manufacturers making similar styles and types. I am not that versed in restoring metal but BB2 should come around soon and give you some pointers on how to treat the metal and get the rust off -- there are some chemicals that make the process easier and with no damage to the wood. You can buy replacement handles online -- just search some trunk sites and you will find them. I use gun oil on the hardware to spruce up those pieces. The wood staves you can use fine steel wool to clean them up -- however yours look blackened with water damage, so I recommend a dark stain after cleaning them up. All the good "bones" are there to bring this back to life -- great find and have fun with it!

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