Collectibles-General (Antiques)/trunk


Marvin Miller wrote at 2011-05-11 23:11:07
I've done research on antique trunks for many years. This trunk has hardware patented by Antony Romadka of Milwaukee WI and was made by the Romadka Bros. Trunk company sometime between about 1874 to 1880. The front latches were patented in 1873 and the lock was patented by Star Lock Co. of Philadelpia. It was a style that they called a Saratoga trunk and was leather covered. Trunk styles kept changing ever few years but they did continue to use the same patented hardware for several years.  I have a trunk nearly identical to this one, with some small differences in the hardware. You hardly ever find a label on them because they put tags on them that were like a hang tag label and they are nearly always torn off. The Romadka brothers became millionaires from their trunk company and it continued into the 1920's.  

Marvin Miller wrote at 2012-12-25 07:01:41
Hi Debby, I just happened to see your picture and questions about your trunk.  I used to be an active expert for allexperts in the category of antique trunks. I can tell you that your trunk was made by the Romadka Brothers trunk company of Milwaukee, WI between 1884 to 1890. The only part on it that was not made by Romadka was the lock, which was made by the Star Lock Works of Philadelphia.  This was called a Cross Slat Barrel top trunk and also sometimes referred to as a Saratoga trunk, a large fancy round top trunk style. The hardware styles, latches, and the pressed metal covering were all patented by Anthony Romadka and only used by their company.  I have recently completely restored a couple Romadka trunks of this style and have many pictures if you are interested.  I hope this helps you.  

Marvin Miller wrote at 2013-03-13 05:12:28
I am a more recent Expert with All Experts and specialize in antique trunks. This trunk is a Cross Slat barrel top trunk, which could also be called a Saratoga trunk. I've studied trunk manufacturers, patents, styles, hardware, etc. for many years. This trunk was made by the Romadka Brothers trunk company of Milwaukee, WI and is from the mid 1880's to mid 1890's based on the hardware and trunk style. It was originally covered with tooled leather. The front latches and some other parts of the trunk were patented by Anthony Romadka and only used on the Romadka trunks. Many other trunk companies used generic hardware that was available to all trunk makers, but some companies including Romadka were more exclusive with their hardware and trunk styles. This is a high quality trunk and if professionally restored the value would be greatly increased. These trunks all had interior trays with multiple compartments.  I hope this additional information is helpful.  Marvin Miller,  ThisOldTrunk. com

Hoosier Daddy wrote at 2015-11-16 23:25:11
This is a high end trunk from Romadka brothers in Milwaukee. The latch in the pic was patented by them and the big giveaway. It looks like it is still in pretty good shape for the age and would look nice with a bit of work.

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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Michael Andrew Wilson


I will attempt to answer questions about European Antique Furniture and 20th Century Decorative arts and Design furniture, including 18th century & 19th century construction details, style, period and the craftsmen and manufactures that created them, I will also attempt to answer questions about buying European Antiques and how to become a expert collector, my speciality is French, Italian, English, Irish, Spanish, Belgium, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, German, and Swiss.


Since 1995, I have been, a professional art, antiques and design advisor and earned an unparalleled reputation for providing select clients: expertise in making informed purchase decisions for antiques and art acquisition from a wide range of categories and eras. Architects, interior designers, decorators, dealers, museums, collectors and private clients rely on me for a wide variety of services. I specialize in finding and facilitating the purchase of some of the most notable pieces in the market today. And because I know the market so well –including the secret locations where the world's best dealers purchase their stock – I are generally able to do this at a significant saving of both time and money. My service includes: creating collecting and acquisition strategy including organizing personally guided buying trips throughout the International art and antiques markets, pre-shopping research, sourcing, analysis of markets, documentation and expert appraisals, handling, shipping and delivery coordination. In short, everything my clients need to be assured of the most knowledgeable, reliable, and pleasurable sourcing, acquisition and collecting experience. My approach is to offer maximum transparency. You can visit my website at:

Moving to Paris in 1989, I worked, for five years as an Interior Design Project Manager for Polo Ralph Lauren where I helped to plan and open more than 60 Polo stores and showrooms across Europe and purchased antiques for one of Mr. Lauren's homes and as a result I oversaw the purchase of millions of dollars of Art & Antiques, this experience gave a unique qualifications to understand the complexities of this market and gives me a rare insight into the professional antique & art market. I also have taught “Furniture Design and Style” at the IESA (Institute Arts Superior) in Paris. and have a personal archive of over 170,000 photos of Furniture and 160 hours of video of the major European art and antiques fairs including: Paris’s Biennale des Antiquaires , Maastricht’s TAAF , and London’s Grosvenor House. Some of these videos can be see at:

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