Collectibles-General (Antiques)/trunk


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I was wondering what you can tell me about this trunk. The inside says it has "Truesdale" hinges patented in 1895 from New Hampshire. It has the original leather handles, though one is broken.

The J. Truesdale & Son Trunk Company was incorporated in 1894 in Manchester, NH. John Truesdale and his son William made a variety of trunks and in March 1895 William was awarded a patent for a type of hinge used on "wall trunks" like this. A wall trunk was a style which was actually made since the 1860's, where the lid could be raised without pulling a trunk away from the wall. A regular trunk hinge is on the back and the lid opens part way down the back, while a wall trunk hinge is on the top so that the lid does not move past the back of the trunk when open, as in the drawings on the label. There were about a dozen different types of wall trunks patented, mostly in the 1890's and as late as 1905. The embossed metal covering was developed in the mid 1880's and was used until about 1920 by many trunk makers. The alligator pattern metal was patented in 1885 and was very popular until about 1910. There were around 30 different patterns of the embossed metal used by 1900. The lock on the trunk appears to be one from the Star Lock Works of Philadelphia, patented in 1877. Keys can be difficult to find but can be obtained, contact me if interested. This trunk was almost certainly made between 1895 and about 1910. There is very little historical information available today on most of the trunk companies such as Truesdale and most of them went out of business in the 1920's to 1930's.  The wall trunks such as this are much harder to find than the "regular" style trunks and generally have a higher value when in complete condition.  I hope this answers your questions.  


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Marvin D. Miller


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.


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 I own the most extensive collection of historical documents, catalogs, maker's labels, cards, etc.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 I am always updating my inventory of historical documents and antique trunks.

Association of American Antique Trunk Restorers, President.

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

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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