CB2 tweets

Entries in antique (2)


redefined: the trunk

photo by: patriotworld As nomads became settlers and built structures to live in for extended periods of time, they were basic—a floor, a roof, and four walls—and local woods, stones or earth were the only construction materials available.

Over time, these simple structures got more complicated as separate rooms were devised for various uses—a common room for living, a kitchen with a chimney for cooking, and smaller rooms fit a bed for sleeping. Much later and smaller still, water closets for toilets and baths.

More stationary and less migratory, storage solutions were needed for possessions acquired. Yet instead of closets—the tiniest of rooms within rooms—small furniture pieces were adapted from cases that were lugged around…luggage, baggage, suitcases.

Today’s luggage is ultra lightweight, durable, with wheels as opposed to classic steamer trunks which held a wardrobe of dress clothes, hats, shoes, etc. And today’s storage pieces come in many shapes and sizes to fill every need imaginable. The beauty of the versus galvanized trunk is in its versatility and its industrial details—so it looks right at home, anywhere.


redefined: the valet

photo by: H is for Home Originally from the French ‘embouteilleur’, or bottler, a butler was simply trusted to serve drinks to his master—which in Medieval times might have meant ensuring the wine wasn’t poisoned. Later the position became much more prestigious as head of the household staff—he managed the male servants while a housekeeper managed the female maids—
and he was often in charge of the wine cellar.

As far back as the 1500s, a valet was a gentleman’s gentleman, or a man’s servant who reported to the butler. The valet maintained a gentleman’s wardrobe, helped him get dressed, packed his steamer trunk—whatever he required to maintain his position in society.

In smaller households, a butler performed some of these duties—which may be how the terms became interchangeable.

Today’s valet is most often an attendant who parks a car. But a clothes valet still refers to a piece of small furniture that manages a wardrobe since it’s equipped with a hanger for a suit jacket, pants, tie, belt, a drawer or shelf for cuff links, wallet, rings—even a shoe rest.

When the norm was a large household headed by a butler with a valet on staff, a gentleman’s wardrobe typically consisted of bespoke suits, heavily starched collars and precious pocket watches. Today, the trine bench-valet speaks to our more casual times—with an arm to hang a shirt or jacket so it won’t get wrinkled, and a seat to comfortably slip on a pair of Toms.