‘Antique Trunks’ packed with expert advice

Antique Trunks: Refinish, Repair, Restore” is the revised, expanded edition of the previously published book of the same name. The authors, Paul Pat Morse and Linda Edelstein, know their antique trunks. They have spent more than 30 years in the antiques business and have written several articles on trunks, as well as other books on the subject, including “Antique Trunks: Identification and Price Guide” (Krause Publications, 2003).

A first-glance observation of “Antique Trunks” tells you the book has been produced in a large-print format, making the type easy to read for a someone with average eyesight even beyond an arm’s length, which would be useful when referring to the instructions as the book lay open on a workshop table. With more than 200 illustrations and precise black-and-white photographs, “Antique Trunks” has plenty of visual keys to go along with the step-by-step trunk-restoration instructions. The period illustrations of scenes with vintage trunks are a nice bonus.

The authors seem to include all the information needed by someone who is “handy” enough and confident enough to tackle restoring a vintage trunk. They start with identifying and labeling all the common trunk parts and also point out that although many trunks are styled differently, they use the same types of parts. The second chapter explores and explains the different styles and construction methods of trunks from 1790 through 1930.

Chapter 3 and beyond gets into the hands-on components of antique trunks. These chapters inform readers of the tools, processes and procedures they need to know for refinishing and restoring antique trunks. It also includes instructions for making several types of different repairs to antique trunks. As a matter of course, safety leads off the “hands-on” chapters, followed by chapters on tools and the detailed, step-by-step procedures of actually restoring an antique trunk.

What I suspect will be especially helpful about the tools chapter (Chapter 4), is that the tools have been broken down into categories: tools you will need, tools you might need, supplies you should have on hand, and where you can find them all — good information to know before you start a project, so you’re not halfway through a restoration and discover you need to go on a supply run.

“Antique Trunks” also provides several supplemental sidebars on specific restoration subjects, as well as a chapter on “Tips and Tricks,” where readers can benefit from the authors’ extensive workshop experience they have used to develop more efficient techniques.

Last, but by no means least, is a chapter dedicated solely to resources. This resources chapter includes information on everything from where a restorer can purchase specific supplies to advice on how to price and sell their work. The list of shops and suppliers, even the advertisements in the back few pages, further expands the realm of trunk restoration resources.

The back cover of “Antique Trunks” advises readers to “Make sure you have the right information before starting work on your valuable antique trunk.” This book is a practical manual for everything from minor antique trunk repair to full antique trunk restoration.

Is restoring an antique trunk so easy that “anyone can do it”? No. However, if you have more than a modicum of technical ability and have restored other types of antique furniture, this guide will tell you what you need to know so you can decide if you want to add antique trunks your restoration portfolio. ?


Trunk prices at auction

Trunk prices at recent sales have been quite affordable, according to the LiveAuctioneers.com auction results.

From an all-too-common “pass” and $10 results (which I view with regret as a missed opportunity) to four-figure hammer prices on vintage stylemakers like Louis Vuitton, if you’re in the market for a vintage or antique trunk, now may be the time. What better way to combine decor and function than with a stylish vintage trunk?

 • Wood-framed camelback shipping trunk, 21 inches high by 30 inches wide, sold for $10 at Bloomington Auction of Bloomington, Ill., April 30, 2010.

• Louis Vuitton trunk, complete, and in good condition, realized $3,750 at Kimballs Auction and Estate Services of North Amherst, Mass., April 28, 2010.

• Black painted dome-top trunk with natural bands, with blue and white lift-out till on folding stand realized $35 at Phoebus Auction Gallery, Hampton, Va., April 18, 2010.

• Leather-covered stage-coach trunk measuring 28 inches wide by 14-3/4 inches deep by 14-1/2 inches high sold for $100 at a Burley Auction Group out of New Braunfels, Texas, March 13, 2010.

 

antiques & collectibles price guide

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*Enter the Antique Trader Treasure Hunt Sweepstakes


antiques & collectibles price guide

Available at shop.collect.com.

MORE RESOURCES FOR ANTIQUES ENTHUSIASTS

*Great Books, CDs, Price Guides & More
*Share YOUR Thoughts in the Antique Trader Forums
*Check out our FREE Online Classified Ads
*Sign up for your FREE AntiqueTrader.com e-mail newsletter
*Visit the Antique Trader blog for the latest news and views from the Antique Trader editors
*Enter the Antique Trader Treasure Hunt Sweepstakes

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