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William Chapple Dome Top Trunk


Maker: William Chapple

Category: Archive

Subcategory: Trunks

This leather on softwood Domed Topped Trunk was made by William Chapple. As was the style at the time, it has numerous dome headed studs set in patterns to both decorate and offer some protection. The initials MS, to the top, are also formed by studs. The interior is lined in newspaper which has been over printed with polka dots and has Chapple's label to the inside of the lid. The Chapple family were established trunk and camp equipage makers, active for most of the first half of the 19th century. William senior, born in 1789, was later joined in the business by his son William junior, born in 1813.

They had a few different premises in London but typically ran 2 shops at once with addresses at the corner of St. Paul's Church Yard, Cheapside, 85 Long Acre and 37 and then 31 Piccadilly and 14 High Holborn. Some of their labels and trade directory entries give the business name of William Chapple, others William Chapple & Son and yet others William Chapple Jnr. It is probable that they all over lapped each other in use with the father in one shop and the son in the other. They took on 14 High Holborn in 1819 after they gave up their Long Acre address and some of the family seemed to have lived there.

By 1857, the shop was leased out to a Mr. Maidment, a saddler and a photographer and a writing master were also using the premises. William senior and his wife also lived in there and in fact, that year a fire broke out at the property, killing William. The trunk is domed so that rain water would run off it on a coach journey and the style suggests it is circa 1825.

  • Dimensions:
    H 34.5cm x W 79cm x D 41cm
    H 13½" x W 31" x D 16"

  • Year: Circa 1825
  • Medium: Leather on Softwood
  • Country: England
  • Signed: William Chapple
  • Exhibition: The Baggage Elephant
  • Reference Number: 81569