Mark Twain’s stagecoach trunk to auction at Heritage

A stagecoach trunk that once belonged to Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain, could make in excess of $25,000.

The lot was made in St Louis, Missouri circa 1865. The author is believed to have purchased it while passing through the city in 1867.

Mark Twain trunk

Mark Twain is one of America's greatest writers 

At the time Twain was fresh from publishing his first short story (in 1865) and was gaining traction as a humourist and travel writer.

It’s unclear how long he owned the trunk for, but it likely would have been used to carry some of his early manuscripts.

The fascinating piece came to light at an auction in Kentucky in 2015, where it was acquired by collector and Twain fan Don Bearden.

He had noticed the words “Property of Samuel L Clemens” inscribed on the lid and instantly knew who it had belonged to. After buying it for an undisclosed sum, he got in touch with scholars and forensic experts to trace its history.  

He told Fine Books and Collections magazine: “I knew it was his trunk - after all, his name is on it.

"However, I wanted to go much deeper to discover the trunk’s origin of manufacture, history, and existence.

“I wanted to establish provenance. It’s the discovery of the unknown. It’s a rush. For a history buff it’s the Holy Grail experience."

We have this 1907 Jamestown Exposition pamphlet signed by Mark Twain for sale.

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