My newest storage container is also my oldest - I bought this vintage trunk for my family room instead of another filing cabinet or plastic tub. It should be able to hold a lot, but mostly I love it for it's treasure chest feel. (And my children like it too.)
This trunk was waiting at a resale shop for several weeks, tempting me. I decided it was one of the nicest trunk I had ever seen, or was likely to see for sale (since I don't collect trunks), and so I finally gave in and bought it for just under $50.
The history I imagine for these trunks catches my mind - imagine moving across the ocean or country with everything you own and value in a trunk like this.
I am guessing that the trunk is over 120 years old, but made after 1880. The metal decorations have a patent date of 1880, and the latches (hasp) patent date seems to be July 6 1872. The lock has a patent on it of 1972 also.
The trunk is surprisingly sturdy, the wood interior is almost entirely encased in a metal coatings with wood accents. The black material is a very strong metal, which was cut and bent around the curves, and then tacked in. This kind of hand work from 100 years ago would be manufactured differently now - the metal would be machined with the curve, and probably not nailed.
My trunk is higher end - the pattern on the tin(?) was probably an option for the more expensive trunks. I understand that the pattern is called 'crystallized tin'. While the gold color has worn away in some place, I like weathered surface texture the old finish has. I'm OK with the way the black paint has been worn away from the black metal. I like the way the builders used decorative metal hardware instead of plain functional metal - the details add interest for me. One of the side leather handles is still surviving.
To clean the trunk up, I used lots of surface wipes all over, especially on the interior. Then I used Murphy's wood soap on the exterior wood parts, followed by pledge. On the silver colored metal I used Brasso Metal polish. The black metal, which had been painted black, was washed down with the surface wipes only. I aired the trunk out first in my garage, and then outside on a blindingly sunny day. I put little bowls of baking soda on the inside to absorb any lingering smells. (I now know kitty litter might do a better job.) This was my first attempt at cleaning up something like this.
Interestingly enough, the site Legacy Trunks is loaded with trunk photos and information. I learned about Legacy trunks from this blog, which seems to have a companion trunk to mine. Check both sites out if you are interested. Opps, now I found the site Brettunsvillage Trunks which is full of photos, info and humor. Look what happens when you post a blog. You learn a lot more about the item you are sharing.
Click on the images to see them enlarged.
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Jan for Boardwalk Bragfest, (I was entry 54 of 55).
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Romantic Home for Show and Tell, (I was entry 68 of 125).
Claudia for Fridays Finding Beauty, (I was entry 5 of 14).
Jessica for Favorite Things Friday, (I was entry 72 of 124+).
Trinkets and Treasures (I was entry 3).
Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays, (I was entry 111).
Southern Hospitality for Today's Thrifty Treasures, (I was entry 105).
Debbie for Garage Salen Party, (I was entry 15 of 16).