Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Trunk

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I recently just purchased a trunk and I would like to know a little about it.  It says Eagle lock co Terryville, conn usa 714 on it. Around what year was it made?

Answer
Samantha,

Eagle Lock Company was in Terryville, CT making many types of trunk locks from 1853 to 1954. One of the founders was James Terry, and the town was named for his father, Eli Terry a well known clock maker.  That particular style was used from about 1896 to about 1920 by a number of trunk companies.  Eagle never made trunks but sold trunk locks to many U.S. trunk companies.  The 714 is the key code for that particular lock. If you are interested in an original old key for your lock you can contact me about buying one, at Marvin@ThisOldTrunk.com  This trunk is a nice canvas covered Wall Trunk, which is much harder to find than the typical flat top trunk. The lid and hinges were designed so that the trunk could be kept against a wall and still be opened. Regular trunks had to be pulled out from the wall to open the lid. Not all trunk companies made this style, but there were several that did and there were actually about a dozen different patents for wall trunks from about 1890 to 1905.  A couple companies made only wall trunks, but those usually had a label on the trunk. So without finding a label on the inside or metal tag on the exterior, it is not possible in this case to tell which company made it. But because of the hardware and lock styles, I would say this trunk was made sometime from 1896 to about 1910.  These always had a wooden lift out tray inside and were lined with paper or fabric.  Sometimes the label was put on the tray, so it could have been on the original tray. The thick wood slats across the trunk were mostly made of elm at that time and from the grain of the wood that I can see I would say those are elm. Many people think they were all made from oak, but that was rarely used on these trunks and the wood is similar in color and look. You found a very nice trunk and a style that is fairly hard to find now.  

Marvin Miller  

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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Marvin D. Miller

Expertise

I can answer questions related to antique trunks, their age, manufacturers, styles, patents, etc, including all types of trunks such as steamer trunks, saratoga trunks, Victorian trunks, slat trunks, toy and doll trunks, stagecoach trunks, valises, hat trunks, and others.

Experience

I have over 40 years experience in trunk restoration, collecting, and research. I own the most extensive collection of historical documents, catalogs, maker's labels, cards, etc. related to antique trunks. I am always updating my inventory of historical documents and antique trunks.

Organizations
Association of American Antique Trunk Restorers, President.

Publications
Primarily on the website www.ThisOldTrunk.com Cotton & Quail Antiques newspaper (Southeast). Antique Journal magazine.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Arts from the University of Georgia. I have conducted extensive research related to the topic of trunk manufacturers and trunk styles in the U.S. and Europe.

Past/Present Clients
Have consulted for the Pawn Stars TV show on antique trunks. I have sold antique trunks to museums in California and Florida and to customers around the world.

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