Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cardboard Covered Trunk

We work on a lot of trunks.  I mean, A LOT of  trunks.  Right now we have 4 trunks, plus 2 chests in all in different stages of restoration.  We have a really old, all wood trunk, we have a metal trunk, and we have two cardboard covered trunks.  Now I know  cardboard sounds a little flimsy, but trust me, this is a very sturdy trunk, and large enough to fit a grown person inside.  
Around the turn of the last century, trunk makers started using cardboard to mimic leather for their less expensive trunks.  They would still use leather handles, and fancy metal corner caps and nail detailing, but the main covering would be cardboard.  This way a person with a more limited budget could still get a really nice piece of traveling equipment.

One downside of a cardboard trunk is that when you peel your traveling sticker off, sometimes it takes a bit of your trunk with it.  At least that is what happened in this case.

We began our repairs by filling the ripped areas with a form of putty and then smoothed it so that the trunk surface was level again. We then had to do color touch up work to blend the new patched area with the rest of the trunk.  The real trick here was to not make it perfectly black, but to make it's appearance match the aged look of the rest of the trunk.  In addition to the top surface repairs, we replaced the broken leather handles and straightened out the lock.  We left the traveling sticker on the front and suggest that no one tries to take it off!  It is a cool piece of history, and we would have a new hole to patch!

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