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T112 - 1890's Wall Cabin Trunk - SOLD 01/2018


Exterior Measurements: 35" wide, 13 1/2" tall, 18" front to back

Another rare and unique trunk of the 1890's from the Palica Common Sense Trunk company of Racine, Wisconsin. A true steamer or cabin trunk which has beautifully woven thick canvas in a design first made by Louis Vuitton of Paris in 1872, which they called the Rayee pattern. A few American trunk makers had their own version, but very few are found. This trunk is in excellent original condition with all the hardware, working Corbin lock and key, and complete interior tray! It has been carefully cleaned and reconditioned to preserve all the special features, such as colorful Victorian trim, lithographs, and the Common Sense Trunk labels. The original paper label on one side has the patent date of 1889. You can also see the special design of the woven striped canvas covering (see pictures). A very well made and sturdy trunk with very strong corner hardware and braces, two heavy iron latches, leather edge bindings, and thick hardwood slats. The lock is marked "Corbin Cabinet Lock Co." and has the original barrel key. The side leather handles have been replaced with the original style made of thick stitched leather. There are three steel hinges and the original metal lid stay inside. The trunk does have some minor signs of age and use as expected on any trunk over 120 years old! The interior of the trunk was cleaned and refinished, including the tray with it's two side compartments, while preserving the original trim and lithographs! (see pictures for the details of the interior). The metal covered bottom was also cleaned and repainted and is in great condition with wood slats and special rotating rollers patented in 1885. The original owners' initials are hand painted on one end, "G.G.W.". This was a common practice of the time by the trunk sellers. This is a very high quality trunk and actually much rarer than the similar Louis Vuitton trunks which sell for many times this price. This is the first striped canvas Palica wall trunk I've seen in over 40 years.... but I've seen many L.V. Rayee trunks each year.

Additional Palica Common Sense Trunk History:
Frank J. Palica was first a trunk maker for the M.M.Secor trunk company of Racine, Wisconsin. In 1887 he left Secor and with a partner, John Jambor, he started the Bell City Trunk Company. Mr. Jambor later tried to kill Mr. Secor with a homemade bomb and was sent to prison for ten years. (Mr. Jambor's bomb went off outside Mr. Secor's residence so Mr. Jambor nearly killed himself). So, in 1890 Palica reorganized the company as the Palica Common Sense Trunk Company based on his December 1889 patent for this special "wall trunk". In 1893, he exhibited this style trunk in the World's Columbian Exhibition in Chicago. This was a world's fair to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus coming to America. A label inside the tray lid includes this information. Palica's business was not as successful as he had hoped and he sold out to the Hartmann Trunk Company around 1898 and they made a few of the wall trunks with their name on the label. Palica then started the Mystic Oil Company in Racine, which was a failure and Frank Palica committed suicide. A rather tragic ending for the maker of this unusual trunk!

Please note: A special solid wood stand can be custom made for this trunk, which is not attached to the trunk, but fits between the trunks' bottom slats. It would raise the trunk to about 21". If you would like a stand please let me know and I will make one for the trunk, but allow a couple days extra for this. The cost of the stand would be $50 extra which can be paid through PayPal separately.

The canvas on the trunk does have a water resistant coating, which is the way they were made. A very rare and collectible trunk that would be a wonderful and functional conversation piece

All my trunks are kept in a smoke and pet free area. Please email Marvin@ThisOldTrunk.com if you have any questions.

Price: $795 plus $85 for shipping & insurance by FedEx Ground in the U.S. Shipping to other countries with FedEx International shipping rates; email for shipping quote. If you prefer to pick it up yourself in central Indiana you can save the shipping cost.

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