Trunk Philosophy

There are people who will tell  you that old trunks are not antiques at all in the purest
description of the word.  There also are many who disagree with this.

I see antique trunks as a wonderful look into the past. To a time when skill and
craftsmanship was not dead and there was enough time to build a product such as a
Steamer trunk in a way that just is not routinely done anymore.  

There seem to be 3 schools of thought (maybe more) about how antique trunks should be
restored or refinished. Or shall we say, to what  extent they should be restored or
refinished.  At
Shenandoah Restoration we know that we will never become  wealthy
restoring trunks, but we are craftsmen and we feel obliged to restore a trunk to  the way it
looked when it was manufactured 100 or more years ago.

Back to the 3 schools of thought....
Many restorers re-do a trunk by cutting off the embossed tin, leather, or canvas and
finishing the wood underneath, leaving the wood slats and buffed small metal parts there
and stopping the ageing of  the trunk in  it's tracks.   then the whole trunk is given a clear
coat of a modern finish and called restored. On that subject, I see the idea of removing the
Embossed tin, leather or canvas on a trunk akin to removing the veneer from a fine piece
of  furniture  and leaving the substrate wood there to stain and  finish.  Hardly how the Old
Masters of  furniture making planned it.

Still other restorers will paint each piece of small metal on a trunk with gold paint, grind all
the paint off of the embossed metal, or paint the canvas on a canvas covered trunk with a
modern paint color  and line the inside with vinyl wallpaper or calico fabric. Again, we at
Shenandoah Restoration do not see this as true restoration.

Lastly, there are restorers who strive to recapture the look of an antique trunk as it was in
1800 - 1930 -  restoring the detail  and  flavor of  the 1800's and 1900's; a time when they
were in their heyday and actually a sign of wealth in some instances.  

Shenandoah Restoration we welcome your ideas on what you would like your restored
trunk to look like, and if you desire your trunk to be restored in the above mentioned way,
we will work with  you as best we  can.  

We simply love old trunks and we also enjoy making people happy by restoring their
trunks in ways that make them happy  to have them in their home, maybe even to be
passed down to future generations.

Give us a   
call  or email... send us some pictures  of your trunk, or visit our  stock room
and let's talk about how you would like your restored antique trunk to look match
your decor, or to add to the antiques you might already own.

Gary Daniel
Owner -
Shenandoah Antique Restoration
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