Trunks View All Case Pieces
Furniture evolved from the simple trunk.
The wooden trunk is probably the earliest form of storage. It would have been made from a hollowed out log which gave it the name “trunk” and would have had a hinged domed top. It is the most common and versatile movable form of antique furniture in the home. It was used for storage, as a seat, traveling luggage, food container, strong box, weapons cache, clothing receptacle; whatever valuable needed to be put away and kept off the floor. It would have been the most prized piece of furniture of the Medieval period.
There are so many different kinds of trunks. Coffers were an early form. They were made from oak, pine, walnut or a local wood and usually had no feet and had carrying handles for traveling. Later feet were added to keep the wood from rotting on the damp floors. They were made from six planks of wood with extended side boards to create feet. The Italian cassoni was a classic form and was usually used as a marriage dowry piece and would sometimes have ornate carvings with family names or crests and some would have been finely painted and gilded.
The trunk developed into the chest with paneled and framed construction with a flat lid in the 15th century and continued through to the 17th and 18th centuries.
Trunks can be used in so many different ways. What country house worth its weight in gold would not have an antique trunk as a coffee table in front of the sofa or used as a side table next to a chair? They make great conversation pieces if they are unusual, such as a Louis Vuitton steamer trunk or a painted blanket chest or a Chinese red lacquered leather trunk. If you have a low bed a trunk makes a perfect night stand.
Susan can tell you more about trunks. Give her a call for more info at (413) 229-8169.