A modern suitcase although practical and convenient, lacks the certain charm, character and craftsmanship and originality of antique luggage. Initials, crests, stickers and labels that adorn each piece of antique luggage document journeys long ago taken; their previous tales of travel left to the imagination. Antique luggage is attractive, both us a practical way to transport ones belongings and as a purely decorative piece. Antique leather suitcases make for particularly nice collectables.
The evolution of transport changed society, the opportunity to travel opened up the world to many, people were able to move between places quickly and freely and it revolutionised the way in which we once lived, there were no longer so many obstacles or barriers. Alongside the development of transport luggage also evolved, their size and style coinciding with the mode.
In the Middle Ages essentials and clothes would have been transported in trunks. Elite gentlemen travelled Europe on grand tours taking in all the famous landmarks, often taking large leather trunks with them. With the advent of steam and therefore steamships, crossings of the Atlantic became more common and antique steamer trunks were used as luggage. With the liberalisation of travel and an increased number of people taking holidays, there was a sudden need for luggage that was easier to transport. Large heavy wooden trunks gradually became redundant and the volume and size of luggage decreased. Groups of luggage were phased out as having servants to carry them became less common place, and with increased air travel and car owners, antique luggage became smaller and lighter again.
There are a large number of antique luggage pieces to choose from including antique hat boxes, vanity cases, trunks, tool boxes, wooden trunks, gun boxes, cartridge cases, iron suitcases and painting cases, two particularly popular categories of antique luggage are antique leather suitcases and an antique leather doctors case. The majority of antique luggage will be made from cowhide. There are also a huge variety of vintage luggage available to purchase, these will sometimes be found in better condition than antique luggage and make for a lovely addition to modern carry cases.
Antique vanity cases and grooming kits were used in order to transport your personal care and hygiene essentials with you on long journeys. There are some beautiful antique travel vanity cases available; they often contain compartments where you can store make-up, jewellery, and perfume and hair accessories. In terms of men’s grooming kits, some antique grooming kits still contain shaving instrument, brushes and bottles for cologne. Antique vanity cases and grooming kits were largely made from leather or canvas.
One of the most popular antique luggage categories, antique leather suitcases and trunks make for a great collectors item. Leather luggage that has been well cared for and cleaned, protecting the quality of the hide is desirable, the condition of the leather been often directly correlated to the cost. In terms of antique leather suitcases and trunks it is important to decipher the condition and quality of the wood in the structure of the frame, oak and walnut were used for some structures and are more expensive than their counterpart ‘pine’, which is less valuable although more common. Important things to look out for is the condition of the lining of the antique trunk or suitcase, velvet and silk linings are particularly nice, earlier suitcases were often lined with green and brown leather. Original paper lining or fabric lining is quite rare but very desirable. The condition of the hinges and clasps are also another consideration.
Antique leather trunks are often large and rectangular, they are very durable and the quality and the strength of the leather are mainly good. Asprey antique luggage is notable and particularly valuable. When purchasing antique luggage it needn’t be with the intention to use it for that sole purpose, a large leather trunk or suitcase can look attractive been used to store books or as a low coffee table, some even fashion vintage and leather suitcases on to table legs to make an unique side table. Whatever your antique luggage’s use it will make for an interesting talking point as well as being visually appealing and more personalised.
148 items available.
This is a smart antique pine chest with a lovely colour dating from around 1870. The chest is a very useful size and is attractively hand painted to the lid.
Pitch pine chest or trunk made from reclaimed wood from Soar Chapel, Penderyn, South Wales.
Please take time to carefully look at all the photos as they form part of the ...
Very good quality Lady’s Leather vanity case with silver fittings stamped to the case Walker & Hall
17 pieces in total some of the manicure set is missing and the ...
Sustainable and quality furniture that will add style to your home!
A lovely late Victorian/ Edwardian pine trunk, most likely English in origin. Wax finished with a lovely old pine colour! ...
This is a large antique steamer trunk. An English, Edwardian, leather travelling case dating to the early 20th Century. Huge character and appeal. Aged leather displaying desirable patina. Wear commensurate ...
Beautiful travel worn metal Steamer Trunk. All original labels and Thomas Cook travel documents relating to what we believe to be the original owners honeymoon in the Isle of Wight!
This is a brown leather Gladstone bag with brass catches and fitting. The bag with a canvas lining and stamped by the makers inside, A Boswell, Hanover Street, Edinburgh. ...
A really classy looking leather lawyer’s case that, although having a few scuffs here and there, it is in remarkably good condition. The stitching is all good and the three ...
A super 1950s fashion handbag which, apart from the very slightest amount of wear on the bottom corners (see picture) is in remarkably good shape. It has a hinged opening ...
Superb condition Edwardian large size travelling truck with fully fitted interior in completely original condition by WHATAJOY of LONDON. Blue leather exterior with brass fittings and studs. Domed top so ...
This is an exquisite 1960's vintage hand tooled leather hand bag.
This is an early 20th Century mahogany veneer vanity box The dome hinged cover lifts to enclose three bottles, length 18.5cm
Condition: In keeping of age and usage with wear to ...
An old Victorian tool chest in warm, honey coloured pine with rustic industrial styling and tactile, heritage finish. Perfect coffee table trunk or blanket box.
Features include inlaid steel edged ...
An antique military campaign chest circa WW1 by Army & Navy C.S.L. - the original Army & Navy Stores, with full zinc lined interior and 2 working locks with key.
Here we have an Antique pine dome top trunk
. Storage - blanket box
· Hand cut dovetail joints
· Working lock and key
· Opening to large storage with small side ...
Offered for sale is this antique toleware Barristers wig tin.
Antique Finnigans Fitted Travel Trunk. Early 20th Century quality trunk, made by Finnigans. The right side with hanging rails & fall front storage below, the left side with small drawers ...
Large Everwear Antique Brown Leather Square Travel Trunk. Large antique travel trunk, brown leather with pair of latches and central lock - no key.
A gentleman's necessaire or toiletry bag. It contains a bevelled edge mirror with hanging hook, scissors, nail file, razor and razor strap, soap dish and 3 bottles.
Offered for sale is this antique oriental trunk. Ideal as a coffee table or storage box. Oriental made for the export market. Solid oriental hardwood lined inside in camphor. ...
A fully kitted out vanity box made from Coromandel with a brass inlay on the centre lid. The interior comprises of the vanity section with a lift out tray. ...
This is an antique vanity box. An English, Victorian travelling vanity case in rosewood and dating to the mid 19th Century. It is of fine quality in a sumptuous rosewood ...
19th Century English domed lid pine trunk
Black outside, natural pine inside
Lovely and clean inside
Quality Irish brass mounted rosewood dressing case with jewellery draw c1850. Fitted, velvet-lined interior with glass stoppered bottles and tray holding five silver-plate topped canisters and glass scent bottle. The tray's centre ...
This is a sturdy antique trunk in brown canvas with wooden banding and brass supports. The trunk has leather carrying handles and brass fittings, with a removable interior tray.
This is a very decorative 19th Century antique coffer, once leather lined, retaining the profuse brass studded decoration and dated, the whole metal bound with rising lid enclosing candle box.
This lovely antique gun case has a maker's label inside for T. Page Wood of Bristol. It looks to date from the late nineteenth century and is of superb quality. ...
A small old Swedish pine dome top chest/trunk, in its original paintwork, dated 1837, and in very nice condition for its age. Inside you will find a small candle box ...
Offered for sale is this early 20th Century tan leather vintage suitcase.
This is a most handsome Georgian period leather covered camphor wood chest with fabulous brass studding and strapwork. The fine chest has its original good quality solid brass handles and ...
Sign upfor email alerts -Get all the latest antiquessent directly to you