Edward Knight’s Travelling trunk

Object name: Leather and brass-studded travelling trunk

Object number: CHWJA:JAH156

Category: Object

Description: Rectangular leather and brass-studded travelling trunk. Early 19th Century.

Made: Early 19th century

Context: This early 19th century flat-topped travelling trunk – made of wood, covered with leather and decorated with brass studs – belonged to Jane Austen’s third brother, Edward. The trunk was made by William Day of 353, The Strand, London, who established his business as a trunk maker in 1812.  The company supplied trunks to members of the Royal Family including the Dukes of York and Sussex.

Advice on the best way to pack a trunk regularly appeared in women’s magazines throughout the 19th century. In Pride and Prejudice, on the night before their journey home Lady Catherine de Bourgh gave Maria Lucas and Lizzy Bennet:

‘directions as to the best method of packing, and was so urgent on the necessity of placing gowns in the only right way, that Maria thought herself obliged, on her return, to undo all the work of the morning and pack her trunk afresh.’

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