As a jewelry designer, I’m always searching for storage. I need storage for my raw material–sheets of sterling silver and copper–along with wire in sterling silver and copper in all sizes and shapes. Then, there is the stone storage and bead storage. Oh, and let’s not forget tool storage. The list goes on and on. My design studio can only hold so much so I’m always on the hunt for storage solutions that can fit into other areas of the house without being too obtrusive.
What about a Steamer Trunk?
So I was delighted when I discovered this antique steamer trunk on 1stDibs. I ordered this back in 2015, so this is certainly not a first impressions review. I’ve been using this steamer truck regularly now to store my finished jewelry pieces as well as packaging for jewelry, including ZipLoc bags to protect the pieces from tarnish as well as gift boxes. I’ve also seen similar trunks as flea markets (that need some work) as well as antique stores that could be repurposed. In fact, if you’re lucky, you may just have one of these in your family’s attic.
Luggage Packed with History
Red Rose Antiques, an antique dealer based in France that specializes in antique trunks, listed the trunk for sale on 1stDibs. The listing noted that it was made in the 1930s by the Hartmann Luggage Company, an American luggage-maker. At least that is what the 1stDibs listing said. When I received the trunk it included an Authenticity Certificate from the seller, Red Rose Antiques, that stated it was manufactured in France between 1900 and 1910. Not being a luggage expert myself, I’m not sure what to believe and either way, my love for the trunk doesn’t change.
It is a beautiful two-sided trunk in excellent condition for its age. The locks work as well. Don’t ask me how I know but let’s just say, I got to know a very friendly locksmith a couple years ago when the lock was closed by accident.
How I Use It
There are five drawers in this steamer trunk and I use the top four to store finished jewelry pieces. The bottom drawer holds all my gift boxes, gift bags and miscellaneous items. The reverse side of the trunk was originally intended for hanging clothing. Oh, to have traveled back in the day when these steamer trunks were all the rage. I can’t help but think of the massive wardrobes these accommodated and reminds me of the luggage being loaded onto the Titanic that held the possessions of the America’s wealthies,t including the Astors, the Gugenheims and the Rothes. Anyway, I digress…
In today’s world, this side of the trunk is a big problematic for me. It is really a deep, dark hole that presently holds a bunch of bubblewrap and extra ZipLoc bags. I really need to put it to better use but haven’t figured that out yet. Any ideas would be welcome.
As a storage solution, this unique trunk is perfect for me. It has tons of character and fits perfectly into our American Bungalow home designed to be circa 1930. So, it sits in our foyer, providing abundant storage for my jewelry business, and best of all, it does not stick out like a sore thumb.
Now, if I could just figure out what to do with the hanging side of the trunk.