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Pre-1850’s Travelling Trunk from Cavan in Ireland

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Project by crowie posted 12-26-2021 08:50 AM 783 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Pre-1850’s Travelling Trunk from Cavan in Ireland.
My Son-In-Law rescued this old travelling trunk from his grandmothers estate.
It was his great great great grandfather’s from when he travelled from Cavan in Ireland to Australian in 1850.
The under side has been rough hughened.

It’s believed that the base around the bottom is a replacement as is the top. It had been recently used as a seat.

The old lock mechanism is broken but still there.

I’d appreciate some input on the old timber and providence of such a piece please.

They don’t like the bright red felt lining so it well come out at sometime in the future.

The question is, should it be sanded and refinished?

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie





14 comments so far

View Ivan's profile

Ivan

17331 posts in 4365 days


#1 posted 12-26-2021 08:54 AM

Very impressive, lookd astonish!!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View icemanhank's profile

icemanhank

606 posts in 3654 days


#2 posted 12-26-2021 08:57 AM

Hi mate, the trunk looks fantastic.
Do you know what finish is on it? I wouldn’t be sanding it unless absolutely necessary, usually it is best to keep as much of the original patina as you can.
Cheers Dave

-- "These are my principles. And if you don't like them, I have others." ... Cheers, David from Sydney Australia

View crowie's profile

crowie

5531 posts in 3448 days


#3 posted 12-26-2021 09:15 AM



Hi mate, the trunk looks fantastic.
Do you know what finish is on it? I wouldn t be sanding it unless absolutely necessary, usually it is best to keep as much of the original patina as you can.
Cheers Dave

- icemanhank

Dave,
Sorry, I have no idea on either the finish or the timber.

The dowel tails all look hand cut.

What’s under the felt is a curious mystery at present.
It’s pretty certain that my son-in-laws grandfather who was an upholsterer by trade did the felt work and the new top to repurpose the trunk as a seat.

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View Dutchy's profile

Dutchy

4399 posts in 3666 days


#4 posted 12-26-2021 10:00 AM

No sanding and no refinishing. We want to make it nice and decent. But thinking back to Ireland in 1850 I think it’s better to leave it like it is. This TRUNK recalls a tragic past. He also shows the “happy” situation (sometimes forced) that your ancestors were able to flee the country. In 1840 there were 8 milj. and in 1900 there were 3,5 milj. inhabitants in Ireland and not everyone of them fled. The crossing, often with unsuitable, bad ships, the so-called coffin ships, was not without risk. About 10 to 20% of the emigrants did not survive the journey.

So please leave the trunk the way it is and clothe (instead of felt) him with the Irish story, one of which Europe unfortunately has many more. (The bad is that many don’t learn from that).

-- https://dutchypatterns.com/

View FrenchGoattoys's profile

FrenchGoattoys

319 posts in 1248 days


#5 posted 12-26-2021 04:04 PM

I agree with Dutchy on this. Don’t mess with it At a minimum, research the maker’s marks and consult a antique dealer ( a real one not a junk dealer). That way you can better understand what you have before you start any shop biz.

-- KJ, Spokane, WA.: Don’t count the days; make the days count.

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

10810 posts in 3763 days


#6 posted 12-26-2021 04:55 PM

What a great historical piece.

View recycle1943's profile

recycle1943

7087 posts in 3120 days


#7 posted 12-26-2021 05:32 PM

pre 1850’s ? yeah, pretty sure the dovetails are hand cut. I’m thinking the only change might be the cloth, you should be able to find some period repro cloth for it.

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10529 posts in 2080 days


#8 posted 12-26-2021 05:44 PM

My suspicion is that it has been refinished at least once, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it, but I wouldn’t sand it. I’d probably wash it with a gentle soap, then re-oil and shellac the outside. Or use a polyurethane if it’s going to see hard use and get manhandled y kids. Re-line the inside with something more period-appropriate, but I’m not sure the bright red is inappropriate. Our forebears used brighter colors than a lot of people credit them with.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27828 posts in 4603 days


#9 posted 12-26-2021 07:11 PM

Real nice old trunk!!!!! Nice craftsmanship.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View crowie's profile

crowie

5531 posts in 3448 days


#10 posted 12-27-2021 12:39 AM

A model maker friend in Ireland has suggested the timber could be “ELM”.

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View Dutchy's profile

Dutchy

4399 posts in 3666 days


#11 posted 12-27-2021 09:07 AM

It could indeed be elm, that was often used where oak was too expensive.

-- https://dutchypatterns.com/

View crowie's profile

crowie

5531 posts in 3448 days


#12 posted 01-01-2022 06:50 AM

Thank you one and all, I think we’ve convinced my son-in-law to leave the exterior of the trunk along.

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View Cliff 's profile

Cliff

2151 posts in 3221 days


#13 posted 01-06-2022 11:23 PM

Looks Great!!!!

Regards…...Cliff

-- Cliff Australia : Snoring is good. It blows away all the Sawdust.

View bushmaster's profile

bushmaster

4181 posts in 3780 days


#14 posted 01-12-2022 06:05 PM

Very nicely restored, I like restoring old things too.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

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