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Mid 19th c. English Canvas Dome Travel Trunk c.1850

$850

ABOUT

A mid 19th century English canvas travel trunk with original travel stickers, leather corners, thick steel handles with brass rivets and brass lock. The brass key cover is stamped with an English crest and "Secure A.W. Patent lFVFR" The interior has a linen lined removable tray, linen lined interior and thick wrapped leather trim. An original repair sticker is on the lid from A. Boswell from Edinburgh, Scotland. The initials of the owner "T.S." are painted on both sides. This piece has retained its original finish and is in good condition with appropriate patina for its age.

  • CREATOR A. Boswell Manufacturer, Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • DATE OF MANUFACTURE c.1850s
  • MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES Leather, Canvas, Steel, Brass.
  • CONDITION Good. Wear consistent with age and use. Minor cracks in the leather throughout denoted in pictures. Splits in the leather on the seams in front, top and back.
  • DIMENSIONS H 21 in. W 27.25 in. D 21 in.

HISTORY

Attributed to the Scottish company of Alex Boswell founded by James Boswell at the end of the 18th century. An established date of 1790 was noted by the company nearly 100 years later in their adverts and James is listed in the Edinburgh trade directories of 1820 as a trunk maker at 25 College Wynd. (Alex was also listed there 5 years later.) The name must have changed to Alex Boswell around 1825 when it is first seen in the directories. The business prospered and expanded throughout the 19th Century with a partner for a short while and the third generation also becoming involved. Brush making was an important part of their work and shared an equal billing in their Post Office Directory listings with Trunk makers for most of the century. Their labels and adverts, which changed little in their history, state that Boswell sold various India Trunks and Portmanteaus as well as domestic items such as House Brushes. They boasted that they held "The Greatest Variety of Traveling Equipments" in Scotland. They were also a Marriage Outfitter and accepted exchanges and repairs.
The business carried on well into the 20th Century and the name is still listed in 1940 as a travel goods manufacturer.


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