Brettuns Village Trunks & Leather
Old Trunks, New Leather. All from Maine.
February 2, 2006
What’s a wicked wickah trunk,
you ask? Just a piece of history, that’s all. This week, on
the Brettuns Village Trunk Shop’s informative program; check local
listings for details.
I’m just pulling your leg, we haven’t started production work on the tv
show yet. That’s because no network on the planet would have any
interest in the show.
Other than that though, it sure would be fun.
Wicker trunks were sort of
an oddity back in the very late 1800s (like 1895) and very early 1900s.
Some genius thought that it made sense to produce very light
weight wicker basket trunks
and then cover them with coated fabric, add handles, locks, and corner
hardware, and sell them like regular travel trunks. A cool
idea, I think you’ll agree,
because the trunk would be so light weight, very easy to move around.
A miraculous idea!
Well, the miracle didn’t
last very long. Usually, an individual wicker trunk would last about
10% of the way through its maiden voyage, although many never
even made it away from the
steamship dock or felt the wheels of the train rolling before they were
crushed beyond recognition, requiring the CSI crew to
figure out what this mess
of canvas, shoes, leather, girdles, wicker, hats, etc used to be.
Sure, these things looked
great in the catalog or in the store, but as soon as you turned it over
to the baggage porters it was just another trunk, so it went
in the baggage compartment
or car, then other trunks – the regular kind – went on top of it.
I don’t think I need to tell you what would happen next. It
mustn’t have been pretty.
What’s all this mean?
It means wicker trunks are rare. Wicker trunks in good condition
are incredibly rare. Few have survived, so when a good one comes
along it often means the
darned thing never left home. One of our trunk parts customers found
just such a trunk and stuck it out there on eBay. Thought I’d
spin you a link to it so
you can see what sort of trunk I’m talking about here. Check it out:
http://cgi.ebay.com (this link has been dead for over ten years -just search eBay for ‘antique wicker trunk’ and that should work.
These wicker trunks were
a gimmicky thing, and as I said, they didn’t last long nor gain popularity.
Still though, I’m amazed by how many trunk makers jumped
on this doomed bandwagon.
Secor, Taylor, Duguid, and even the venerable Goyard (France) made them.
Briefly. These things are like the Edsels of the trunk
world. Isn’t that
interesting? OK, you’re right. It’s not all that great, but
it beats the work you were doing before this e-mail arrived. I hope.
8 deer in the backyard yesterday.
They’re enjoying this mild winter and looked very healthy. Hope they
stick around until next Fall. Sure helps keep the
freezer looking the way
it should, if you catch my drift.
Happy Superbowl weekend.
All I know about it is that the Pats aren’t in it. Probably won’t
even be on the TV up Maine way. Oh well, maybe next year.
Importantly, when running
the spell checker on this e-mail it didn’t like the word ‘Superbowl’ and
suggested replacing it with ‘Superb Owl’ so that must be
why all of us upcountry
keep saying, “WHOOO’s playing in the game this year?” OK, sorry about