Antique Beals & Selkirk Steamer Chest/Trunk Very Rare!!

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  • Item Category: Furniture & Furnishings
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Apr 26, 2011
  • Channel: Auction House

Up for auction is a RARE antique Steamer Chest made by Beals and Selkirk.
I got it from my neighbor at a yard sale last summer. She and her husband had an attic full of treasures left by the previous home-owner. We are unsure of the exact date of manufacture, but after doing some research on the Beals and Selkirk company, my best guess is 1890-1910.
The company was founded in 1889 in Detroit before relocating to Wyandotte, Michigan a few years later. The trunks produced by Beals and Selkirk were considered to be amongst the finest of their time. These trunks were built to withstand the toughest of handling. They were reinforced with leather or metal corners, straps, bumpers. handles, hinges, and locks . After a fire and rebuild in 1902, these trunks were shipped nationwide. After the San Francisco earthquake in 1906 left thousands of people homeless, Beals and Selkirk sent 6 carloads of trunks. They also mass produced a simpler style for the army during WWI and WWII. By the 1920's, the Beals and Selkirk company shifted from trunks to handbags, appliance covers, and doctors' bags. This particular trunk is is good working order, with its only defects being minor cosmetic ones. Obviously with its age, it has some bumps and bruises. There are no keys, the leather strap is broken with a portion of it still under the metal, and some of the metal is slightly dented. The outer latches work fine, but are a little rusty. The drawers are in good shape, the top hinge is in good working order, and the attached briefcase is fully functional. On the end of the trunk, the initials "Z.C." are painted, and there is a sticker that reads "Little Roy's Auto Express-Moving & Expressing-Phones Cherry 0600-5806 2024 John R. Street- Detroit, Michigan." I have been unable to find any information about this company. It was difficult to find a lot of information about this trunk, which for me, added to the nostalgia of this piece, the period of time it came from, and its' rarity. There is a metal emblem with the Beals and Selkirk logo on the side. I would be happy to send additional pictures to those interested in this magnificent piece of American history, and answer any questions that I can!
Thanks for looking!