Trunk Shop News
July 4th has come and gone, so summer is in full swing in Maine, for
at least another few weeks. Here at Brettuns Village Trunk Shop the
humidity level is off the charts, and the little electronic weather
station on the window sill just blinks: "You're Now Underwater -
Please Hold Your Breath." Just walking through the barn makes you
sweat, and the very sight of the trunks stacked up in there only
worsens the situation. I just have to hang in there for about eight
more weeks - then we'll be back to some reasonable temperatures,
somewhere south of 60 degrees. Best part of the year.
Looking for a project trunk? We've got a lot of them out there, and
have added a few to our 'Sold As-Is' page on the site. On that page
we sell trunks that have not been refinished - just the way they are,
complete with the dust and grime of the ages on the outside, and on
the inside you can usually find one old sock, a broken keychain, a
feather from a canary, the arm off a GI Joe doll (left), an empty coin
purse that appears to have been made by hand, three paper clips, a bar
of Ivory soap still in the wrapper (supposed to keep the trunk
smelling fresh), 2 cents, 4 newspaper clippings (cookie recipes), a
mesh bag with a bunch of pine needles in it (in case the Ivory soap
doesn't work I guess), one marble, a house key, and two hairpins.
That's about the average list of hoo-hah we find in these trunks.
Anyway, if you'd like to find a project trunk, might be worth a look
at the 'As=Is' page. The prices you'll see there include shipping to
any location in the 48 contiguous United States, so the price you see
is the price you pay. Like a used car lot. Here's a link to that
We're certainly deep into yard sale season at this point in the
summer, which means when I wander into the office on Monday morning I
get a bunch of e-mails that pretty much say the same thing:
"I found an old trunk, I don't think you've ever seen one like it
before, but it's real nice although there are some stains and
something moldy in it but anyway it has metal wheels on the bottom and
wood slats on the top and sides and the handles are broken and how
much is it worth and oh yeah guess what I got it at a yard sale for
five bucks LOL!
If you've sent us one of these on a recent (within the last 19 years)
Monday, you've probably received the 'generic response' that goes out
"Many trunks of this style were made in the late 1800s by contract
manufacturers and then sold through catalogs such as Sears or Wards.
It's common to not be able to find a maker's label or tag because the
retailers wouldn't allow the maker to put their own name on the trunk.
In general, trunks like this sold for around $2.75 brand new. The
largest contract factories were Seward Trunk & Bag in Petersburg, VA,
Taylor Trunk of Michigan, and MM Secor in the Midwest, so there's a
reasonable chance that your trunk was made by one of these companies.
If you're interested, we offer an appraisal service that provides a
complete written report; more information about this service is
available on our website."
We get great responses to this, including my personal favorite:
"I don't want to pay for an appraisal, I just need to know how much
it's worth you idiot."
I love my job. Yes, like so many other professions, it's the
customers who make it memorable. Still, I can't imagine a better line
of work. Maybe if we started finding rare coins or unmounted diamonds
or platinum ingots or first edition Hemingway novels signed by old Hem
himself or Al Kaline's original bat then the job would seem even
better, but it's pretty difficult to envision it gaining any ground
over how it already is. Next time you're banging a trunk around
inside the garage you'll see what I mean. I think.
Stay cool and calm-
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