The intricately decorated mining trunk dates from late Victorian times and was bought by the vendor’s mother, who was captivated by its design, at an auction in Penzance in 1959.
Coincidentally the vendor of Huntsham, near Tiverton, worked for a time at the Geevor Tin Mine at Pendeen, near Penzance.
Now nearly 60 years later the vendor is selling as he is downsizing and no longer has the space to display the charming wooden trunk.
It is thought likely the trunk would have belonged to a “Cousin Jack” – the name given to Cornish miners who migrated to America, South Africa and Australia taking their mining skills with them.
Mystery surrounds the “Cousin Jack” moniker. Some say it was because they were always asking for a job for their “cousin Jack” back home, while others believe it stems from the fact that Jack was the most popular boys name in Cornwall at the time and the men used to call each other cousin.
A double-ended spoon is included in the lot and this would have been used to measure tin ore. Together the lot has a pre-sale estimate of £100-£150.
The vendor chose to sell through Greenslade Taylor Hunt as the auctioneers successfully sold some childhood train sets for him in the past.
“Greenslade Taylor Hunt were the logical choice,” he said.
Further entries are being accepted for the sale. Please contact the saleroom on 01823 332525 if you have items to consign.