We were inspired to create “The Conestoga” as a tribute to the iconic Conestoga wagon trunk. The Conestoga, a horse-drawn freight wagon, originated from the Conestoga Creek region of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The Conestoga wagon trunks were functional for storing and concealing items during that time. Some were hung on the wagon’s side, while others were on the back. This is our rendition of this iconic piece.
Anthony, of Red Tail Forge Works in Tennessee, selected a wrought iron flowering tulip hinge based on an 18th-century pattern. Found in the Early American Wrought Iron, Albert H. Sonn, Three Volumes in One, Plate 201. Chest Hinges pg.186. “Figure 3. This elaborately wrought hinge of flowering tulip pattern decorates a chest owned by Mr. Francis C. Mireau of Doylestown, PA. It is 16 1/4” in length by 5” in breadth and joins a plain strap-end member extending down the chest’s back. The handles, hasp, and other hardware are authentic Red Tail Forge Works designs.
Kelly chose English walnut wood with a figured flitch-cut for the wooden trunk. The trunk’s frame has dovetailed corners, and features 16-inch-wide sequence cut planks. The dome top features a single wood plank, focusing on the feather pattern. Ring handles add decoration and functionality, while the latch and lock ensure security. The base has eight oval ring plates, which also conceal a secret. Note that the long sides have three plates each, with the two outer plates as keys to a tray at the bottom. To unlock the tray, turn the keys counterclockwise, pull the pins, and lift the trunk. To lock it again, turn the keys clockwise.