ANTIQUE Luggage Trunk, Storage Chest, Hat Box & Key

ANTIQUE Luggage Trunk, Storage Chest, Hat Box & Key


A superior quality Edwardian hat box with embossed leather & brass details and original key by Best & Co. Mayfair, carefully conserved & hand-finished in our Lincolnshire workshop. With outstanding preserved vintage luggage labels and original text this classic piece of antique luggage is in excellent condition with incredible provenance and superb historical interest.

Measurements (cm): W 57.5 x H 42 x D 51

Features -

- Waxed black canvas exterior with robust leather reinforced corners
- Chunky leather central lid handle embossed 'Bests Own Make' in brass keepers embossed with maker's details 'Maker Best 64A S. Audley St. London W'
- Original luggage labels still attached to handle 'From Cox & Kings (Agents Ltd) Kings House, 10 Haymarket London SW1' 'Lord Crichton-Stuart A.D.C to Earl Dalhousie SS Winchester Castle' and 'The Rt Hon The Earl of Dalhousie 23 Down Street London W1'.
- Authentic hand-painted white initials 'M.D.' to lid
- Burnished brasswork with copper rivets including 2 up and over clasps
- Central working brass lock with original key, embossed with maker's details, and brass button escutcheon (push to right side to release mechanism) with matching brass button to locking clasp
- Steel studs to base - 1 at each corner integral to the reinforcings and 1 to the centre
- Original full fabric lined interior cleaned and conserved with authentic removeable hat storage crate in webbing on a wooden frame - intact and well preserved - in great condition for age
- Leather rear lid supports, leather edging trim to body and interior lid sides and steel clips to interior lid, possibly missing a central bar, used to store accessories (gloves and hat pins?)
-Original maker's label to interior 'F Best & Cos Own Make Aldford Street 64A S Audley St. W.' (and crown emblem)
- Authentic vintage shipping labels - Union Castle S (Stateroom), Union Castle Hold Not Wanted On Voyage Name : Lord Crichton-Stuart Vessel : Winchester Castle Port of Destination: Cape Town, Cape Town Union Castle, South African Railways T.1.


Owned and used by either or both Lord Crichton-Stuart & The Rt Hon The Earl of Dalhousie - intriguing characters and families of historical interest.

We believe this piece to be Edwardian and therefore used by Lord Colum Edmund Crichton-Stuart who entered into the diplomatic service nominated an Attaché in 1910, went to Cairo in 1911 and was later appointed an attacheship at the British Consulate-General in Cairo working under Lord Kitchener. Read more about him here

We believe the reference A.D.C to signify he was aide-de-camp to Earl Dalhousie on the SS Winchester Castle (a ship built for the Union-Castle Line in 1930). The 14th Earl, Arthur Ramsay, died in 1928 but he was posted to South Africa and served in the Second Boer War which ties in with the older South Africa shipping labels. Read more about him here,_14th_Earl_of_Dalhousie.

This piece of luggage could have firstly belonged to the 14th Earl before being passed on either to his wife Lady Mary Heathcote-Drummond (Countess of Dalhousie) and used for her own travels, including on the SS Winchester Castle, or by his son John Gilbert Ramsay who became the 15th Earl in 1928 (Read more about him here We think the initials M.D could stand for the Marquess of Dalhousie or Mary Drummond.

It's a bit of a puzzle to unravel how all the different people mentioned on the labels were involved with this piece of luggage - and we may not be entirely correct - nevertheless it undoubtedly has an astonishing history!

At Vintage Trunks & Chests we have ten years experience curating, restoring & selling antique and vintage trunks & chests. Working with meticulous attention to detail our restorations are completed using traditional, time-honoured methods and everything is finished in numerous coats of wax polish to naturally enhance, revive & protect the original patina. Authentic antique & vintage items have their own quirks & imperfections which is what gives them their character, uniqueness & that 'lived in' quality.. that's what we're all about here at VTC! Any notable quirks are outlined below & the photos are integral to the description. Please see our FAQs/Policies for further info :)

The heritage finish on this luggage includes discolouration to the canvas in places, some scuffing to the leatherwork, the occasional missing rivet at the corners and the right hand clasp doesn't always stay closed in place when being moved. The webbing on the interior crate has come off the original pins in places, we haven't repaired this but preserved in its original state.

Terms & Conditions and Right of Withdrawal

Shipping from United Kingdom

Processing time

1-3 business days

Customs and import taxes

Buyers are responsible for any customs and import taxes that may apply. I'm not responsible for delays due to customs.

Payment Options

Secure options
  • Accepts Etsy gift cards

Returns & Exchanges

I gladly accept returns and cancellations

Just contact me within: 14 days of delivery

Ship items back to me within: 30 days of delivery

  • Custom or personalized orders
  • Conditions of return

    Buyers are responsible for return shipping costs. If the item is not returned in its original condition, the buyer is responsible for any loss in value.

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    Vintage Trunks & Chests, Swallow Barn, Fen Road, Toynton All Saints, Spilsby, Lincs. PE23 5DF UK

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Condition FAQs

    Authentic antique & vintage items, unlike new copies and imported reproduction antiques, have their own quirks & imperfections which gives them character, uniqueness & that 'lived in' quality. Our trunks, chests & hand crafted items made from reclaimed materials will inevitably show signs of wear & tear commensurate with their age & previous use. This may include: knocks, bumps & dents; scrapes, scuffs & scratches; marks, stains, fading & discolouration; snags, tears, peeling & wrinkling; surface corrosion; exposed fixings; old fixing holes; missing pieces; shrinkage gaps; paint remnants; small repairs; old/treated woodworm; corroded & missing metalwork; sharp edges; newly-fitted & replacement parts including fixtures & fittings.

    When will I receive my item?

    We aim to dispatch all orders for in stock trunks and chests within 1-3 business days by 24 or 48 hour courier. After purchase do let us know if you have a preferred delivery date so we can arrange this for you and feel free to add a note with any additional instructions. We also need a mobile telephone contact number before we can book your item in with the courier in order for you to receive notifications about your delivery so please let us have this asap to avoid any delay! We aim to complete and deliver made to order items within 21 days. Very large, heavy or high value items may be hand-delivered by arrangement.

    Where do you deliver?

    Our standard charge applies to Mainland UK addresses only. If you are outside this area please contact us first so we can provide a quote to ship to your postcode. We may be able to offer a Global Shipping option for some of our items - please contact us for a personalised quote from our specialist antiques shipping partner.

    Care instructions

    All our items are hand finished in several coats of a premium wax polish. A wax finish naturally enhances the wood and revives and protects the original patina, however it doesn't have the same protection as a lacquered finish (the type you may find on shop bought furniture). So to keep your item in tip top condition it's advised to wax it periodically depending on the wear and tear it receives, the suggestion for a coffee table is twice a month. Only the top need be done with a clear wax according to the instructions on the product used. You may also wish to wax the whole piece every 6-12 months to maintain the finish. This will feed, hydrate and protect the wood, maintain the depth of colour and help your furniture to stay looking great!

    Gift wrapping and packaging

    In an effort to reduce our consumption of new materials we are currently trialling the use of recycled packaging when shipping our items. So your parcel is likely to arrive with you wrapped in re-used cardboard :) You can be sure your item will still be packaged safely to protect it in transit and you'll be involved in helping the planet!

    Returns & Exchanges

    We accept returns within 30 days of receipt. Cancel the purchase or notify us of the return within 14 days of delivery and return the item within 30 days of delivery. Buyers are responsible for return postage costs and any loss in value if an item isn't returned in original condition. Due to the nature of custom or personalised orders we cannot accept returns unless they arrive damaged or defective.

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    Terms & Conditions and Right of Withdrawal

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