Collectibles-General (Antiques)/trunk



Could you also give some info on this trunk. Thank you.

Paper covered trunk 1888
Paper covered trunk 18  
This is a paper (imitation leather) covered trunk, usually called a Barrel Stave top trunk by the trunk makers. These were made mostly from about 1885 to 1900 by many American trunk makers. These were the less expensive models with the paper covering, but today since many people prefer to remove the paper and refinish the wood, they can be very beautiful trunks when refinished. The wood is usually pine or basswood and the narrow slats were usually made of elm or ash. The latches on the trunk were patented in 1882 and used into the early 1900's by many trunk makers. SO the trunk cannot be older than about 1883 because of the latches. These always had an interior lift out tray and were mostly paper lined. Someone has relined the interior of this trunk.  These are nice wooden trunks when restored and refinished so the price can be increased a good bit when restored. In the current condition and without the tray this trunk would typically sell in the range of about $100 to $200 in most areas.  They can sometimes be found for less at flea markets and auctions. I'm attaching a page from a Milwaukee trunk company catalog from about 1888, which shows a similar fancy paper covered trunk, so you can see more about what these looked like when they were new.  
Marvin Miller

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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 I own the most extensive collection of historical documents, catalogs, maker's labels, cards, etc.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 I am always updating my inventory of historical documents and antique trunks.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.

©2017 All rights reserved.