Stool Trunk by Bryant

Stool Trunk by Bryant


A leather on softwood Stool Trunk by John Bryant of Bath.

The trunk has a padded and buttoned lid giving it a dual use as both a stool and a trunk, which would prove useful whilst travelling. The interior is lined in linen and the main body has a raised lip to give a tight fit to the lid. The trunk has light carrying handles to the front and back and a lock to receive a hasp, which is now missing. It has stud decoration to both sides where the lid closes and a further line of studs to the base. It sits on stud feet that would raise it slightly from any wet ground.

The maker's paper label for John Bryant is fixed to the inside of the lid. It notes 'Jn Bryant, Trunk Portmanteau, Mill Board Box & Packing Case Maker To Her Majesty and Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth, 22 Union Passage, Bath'. The earliest date we have found for Bryant at 22 Union Passage is in Gye's Directory of 1819 but it is probable that he was at this address a number of years before. The Queen and Princess referred to on his label are Adelaide and her daughter. Adelaide was known as Queen from 1801 and died in 1818. After her death he referred to himself as manufacturer to Her late Majesty.

In 1825, The Corridor opened in Bath linking High Street with Union Passage. Seeking to benefit from the popularity of this new shopping arcade, his labels now noted that he was 2 doors below The Corridor. Later he took this a step further by moving to 19 Union Passage which was on the corner with The Corridor. Eventually he advertised his address as 19 The Corridor instead of Union Passage without moving shop.

The business expanded to open a shop 55 miles away in Cheltenham at 12 Colonnade. He also added to his trunk making business to include Artificial Florist, Feather Maker and Dairyman. It was perhaps a step too far for him as in July 1833 he is in The Gazette under the listings for The Court For Relief Of Insolvent Debtors. His given address is 19 Union Passage and also 'late of No. 12 Colonnade, Cheltenham'. There is also a London trunk and campaign equipage maker called Bryant and the two are not to be confused.

Stools trunks are uncommon items and this olive-green leather example is of a good date and by an interesting maker. Circa 1815.


Height 43.16 cm / 17 "
Width 33.64 cm / 13 "
Depth 33.01 cm / 13 "

Circa 1815


Leather on softwood




J. Bryant, Bath label




Good. Lock hasp missing.