|The Original Inspiration|
Photos Lindy Miller 2011
|Inside View of Original Trunk|
Note the Door in the Lid
In 2004, during a shopping trip to Nevada, my wife and I were visiting one of our favorite fabric stores, Mill End Fabrics of Reno, when I noticed that they had a bin of large leather pieces. The prices were fair and I found myself wondering what I could make from such an opportunity. Like a light bulb going on in my head I suddenly thought of that nearly forgotten trunk. I ended up purchasing half a cowhide of upolstery leather because the weight, feel and finish seemed like it might be a match to the covering of that relic trunk. The anticipation of a new project was pretty exciting. Yeah man !
|My Replica Trunk|
Note the Sewn Leather Handle
|Straight on Front View|
Note the Straps and Lock Flap
The hunt for hardware was next and I really lucked out when I discovered an amazing resource online called The Trunk Shoppe in Harrisville, West Virginia. These good people have created a unique offering of early trunk hardware that's unparalleled. Their trunk locks are exact copies of early to mid-19th century originals, so I needed to grab one of those. They even have the original style cast brass domed tacks with a square shank but the cost would have killed me.The original trunk has a zillion tacks. I opted for high dome brass tacks from Crazy Crow Trading Post of Pottsboro Texas. Many of these early trunks have tinned or sheet iron corner protectors and in my case, they were tinned and japanned with asphaltum varnish. When the time came, I used ProCraft Asphaltum Varnish, thinned with Lacquer Thinner( a good drying agent) to a brushable state. Over the bright tin, the varnish's golden brown color is a classic period look that can't be imitated.
|Inside View of My Replica|
|Close-up of Replica's Lid |
Showing Facsimile of Original Label
Some of the elements that are usually missing from many original and most replica trunks, are the buckled straps that secured a trunk's lid and the leather flap to protect the lock. I wanted my replica to have all of the flaps, straps and buckles of a new original. I found that by studying mid-19th century trade cuts like those reproduced in Clarence P. Hornung's "Handbook of Early Advertising Art",1956, I could find clues as to how period trunks looked when new. The majority of these trunks were intended to be used as luggage and more often than not ended up on top of a coach, exposed to the weather. From those originals that I studied, it appears that style and function went hand in hand and I think my replica celebrates that notion. It was a great project and worth the "patience" it took to get to the point to make it happen and now I have somewhere cool to stash my stuff !