Old Trunk to Shoe Cupboard

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An old travelling trunk perched on a pile of crap in a skip is something you shouldn’t really see. It’s sad, particularly on a street in Auckland where the trunk is older than 99% of anything else man-made within a 4000 km radius.

If you see something like this, please grab it. For prosperity.

No photos were taken prior to meddling with the rescued trunk, but it was very similar to the one below.

The rescued trunk was very similar to this one. This one has the same detailing and end-handles. Would go as far as to say its the same model, actually. The outer black painted fabric covering has been stripped off this one (maybe?), and it has a newer ‘aftermarket’ brass lock.

Where has the trunk been? Who knows, but now it’s in New Zealand and its manufacturer’s label (that unveiled itself when I removed the lining paper) confirms it started life at John Denby’s shop at 11 Edgware Road, London at the turn of the 20th Century.

100+ years and this thing has gotten itself as far as a trunk can get before getting closer to home. Nice, right? And it’s probably never been on a plane in that time. Boats, trains. Maybe horse-drawn carts?

John Denty Travelling Basket Manufacturer

Of John Denty’s shop (and possibly where our trunk started its journey): this is what Google and I found:

  • The shop was here: 11 Edgware Road
11 Edgware Road now and then. Its a Lebanese restaurant now.

Photos off homepage VSC web page showing its Memorial Wing being built where our trunk originated
  • That block was hit by two bombs in the WWII Blitz. Not sure if they wiped out our building. This 1932 vs 1952 map rather suggests bomb damage did mark the end of the premises John Dendy’s luggage shop resided in.
Ordnance Survey, published 1932 showing the premises on corner of Edgware Rd and Seymour Street
2 high-explosive bombs near the shop
1952 Ordnance survey map, showing an empty site and two ruins south of it.

Shoe Locker

Cutting to the chase, the trunk is no longer a trunk. It is a weird shoe cupboard.

The (half) trunk now. Rescued from the skip

You can buy it if you want.