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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/ca malm & co wardrobe truck


ca malm & co
ca malm & co  
ca malm & co
ca malm & co  
QUESTION: i was given this trunk by a friend and I have only little information based on my own Google searches and inspections of the has an eagle lock that doesn't seem to use the older style thick skeleton key. The address marked on it from the nanufacturer is 586 Market Street in San Francisco. I was able to find that the company was manufacturing at that address from at least 1916 to 1938. I am so curious to find out the age of this trunk. Any info you could lend  would be wonderful. Thanks.

Malm Label
Malm Label  
ANSWER: Hi Elisha,

The wardrobe trunk you have fits the general description of those made by many trunk companies between the years of about 1915 to the late 1930's. By finding the dates of business for C.A.Malm & Co. you have confirmed that it was made sometime during those years, but it is nearly impossible to narrow that down much based on the appearance of the trunk. That's because those wardrobe trunks were very popular during that time and many companies made several models of these which looked nearly the same over that time period. Sometimes there are patent numbers or patent dates on some of the parts and with that information it can narrow down the time period a little closer. I have seen Malm trunks and have a label from one with the address of 266 Bush St. San Fransisco so obviously they moved at least once. There is very little information readily available about most of the old trunk companies. Sometimes they are listed in business directories, but that is often the only information available over the internet. By the time these wardrobe trunks were being made, most of the trunk locks had flat type keys rather than the hollow barrel style keys. If the lock is complete and you find the key code you may still be able to find a key for the lock. I have some old trunk keys and have friends who have a large variety of them.  This is a fairly typical wardrobe trunk with the drawers, wooden hangers,straps, and other devises to hold the clothes in place. You can also read additional information about the wardrobe trunk history on the Showcase page at   I hope this has been helpful.  
Marvin Miller,

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: there is minor rusting in a corner & the lock is cleanly removed. otherwise, it is in really clean condition.any idea of the monetary value?

It's hard to give a good estimate of value from one picture and a description, but since the wardrobe trunks are not really hard to find and are somewhat hard to sell because of their size, the prices are generally not too high on these. You can usually find wardrobe trunks on craigslist and ebay in any area in the range of about $100 to $300, or even less.  It's primarily about how nice it is and how much does someone want it. The maker of the wardrobe trunks does not really affect the price unless someone from that area really wants one that was made there or some other personal reason.  


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Marvin D. Miller


I can answer questions related to antique trunks, their age, manufacturers, styles, patents, etc, including all types of trunks such as steamer trunks, saratoga trunks, Victorian trunks, slat trunks, toy and doll trunks, stagecoach trunks, valises, hat trunks, and others.


I have over 40 years experience in trunk restoration, collecting, and research. I own the most extensive collection of historical documents, catalogs, maker's labels, cards, etc. related to antique trunks. I am always updating my inventory of historical documents and antique trunks.

Association of American Antique Trunk Restorers, President.

Primarily on the website Cotton & Quail Antiques newspaper (Southeast). Antique Journal magazine.

Bachelor of Arts from the University of Georgia. I have conducted extensive research related to the topic of trunk manufacturers and trunk styles in the U.S. and Europe.

Past/Present Clients
Have consulted for the Pawn Stars TV show on antique trunks. I have sold antique trunks to museums in California and Florida and to customers around the world.

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