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American Hat Box

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Finding the Right trunks-luggage for You

Add a charming piece of travel history to your space. Antique and vintage trunks and luggage can make a statement as decorative accents and practical furnishings in nearly every room of your home.

There have been many types of trunks and luggage over the years, with availability of these wares broadening as train travel expanded during the 19th century. Antique steamer trunks — named for their use on steamships — mostly date from around 1880 to 1920. These pieces of luggage fit a steamship’s luggage size regulations and essentially doubled as wardrobes, ensuring that a traveler’s evening dresses and suits were kept wrinkle-free on a journey from city to city.

In 1858, French luxury brand Louis Vuitton introduced the world to the now-iconic Louis Vuitton trunks. During this early period of railroad travel, Louis Vuitton trunks solved common travel problems. Instead of the traditional round shape, these handcrafted rectangular trunks stored better on trains. To discourage burglars, the French craftsman and his son, Georges, also eventually patented a revolutionary sophisticated lock for the trunks. The famous LV monogram was first used in 1896 as part of an initiative by Georges to prevent counterfeiting of his coveted travel trunks.

Even if no longer used for travel, the vintage luggage is a popular item among collectors for its historical value and charm. At home, an old wood trunk is a durable storage solution as much as it is a versatile surface. It’s a coffee table in the living room of your farmhouse-style home or rustic loft apartment and a nightstand or blanket chest at the foot of your bed in your bedroom.

From Victorian trunks to Art Deco traveling jewelry cases, journey through history today with an extensive collection of antique trunk suitcases and vintage luggage on 1stDibs.