Ok, right up front let me tell you that many people would consider this suitcase a piece of junk. It is missing it's handle. It has leather worn away on a few of it's edges and sides. It is missing the top to one of it's compartments. It has a stain on the bottom interior. It is old, and it looks it.
Now, let me tell you why it is wonderful. First, it is wonderful because of all the reasons above. This case was well used. It was created in the 1910s. It is well constructed and heavy for its size.
The box is wood covered with black reptile leather. The large pieces of leather have no seams, rare for reptile leather. Therefore, expertise was required in surfacing it. And, because of that, the case was most likely costly, made for the elite and wealthy.
The lock is brass and works well. The hinges on the back and sides are brass and have no wear or discoloration. Each of them has all their original screws in place. Again, credit to the maker.
The slide button lock opens the box to reveal a 9 1/2" h x 7" w mirror in the center of the lid. The leather straps that were decorative on each side of the upper case hinge have been worn through. The small straps of leather can be repaired, removed, or left as part of the antique charm. They don't affect the use of the mirror or the hinges. The mirror has no cracks, chips, wear, or discoloration. Credit to the owner who cared for it.
A 9 1/2" l x 2 1/2" w x 1" h compartment opens outward on each side of the case. One of the compartments has a peach tone leather cover which secures the contents with the help of a black reptile leather strap and loop. The inside of the compartment is lined with flocked beige material. The ring slot within holds two rings. There is also room for earrings, brooches, and necklaces in that compartment. The compartment on the other side is the same size, had the same lining and has the strap but does not have the cover with the loop, resulting in an open storage area.
Inside the roomy 11 1/2" l x 9 1/2" w x 5" h open area of the case is a large leather pouch running the entire length, breadth and height of the case. The pouch closes with a strap and loop. This pouch could hold larger jewelry items or accessories. There are no tears, marks, stains or discoloration on or in the pouch.
That leaves a large area for plenty of other items. The interior case has a leather strap with a brass snap closure. The strap is sized to hold a liquor bottle.
The front of the case is monogrammed very faintly with the initials O.N.D. To my dismay, there are no makers marks anywhere on the case. My source indicated it was her mother's before she married and had children in the early 1920s. Olivia Nanette Demond (OMD) used it as a train case traveling from Vassar College in New York to her home in Atlanta. The style, workmanship, and materials are consistent with the WWI era, 1914 - 1918, as well as the previous owner's recollection.
The exterior of the case measures 14" l x 10" w x 7" h. It weighs over four pounds. I was surprised and pleased to find the case has no odor of age or decay. There is a pleasant light scent of talc or soap.
This case would serve delightfully as a display case for 1900's jewelry and fashion accessories. Or, display it with perfume bottles, talc cans, and cosmetic cases. Use it to store photos and family memorabilia. It would also be cute holding dolls, bears or antique books. Even as used as it is and appears, it still has many more years of usefulness.
For additional vintage treasures please visit my companion shops https://www.etsy.com/shop/ALifeTimeAgoVintage
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Vanity Case Train Bag Vintage 1910s Old Shabby Box Black Leather Valise Mirrored Lined Interior Suitcase