Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Vintage Trunk


Trunk #1
Trunk #1  

Trunk #2
Trunk #2  
Mr. Miller - Was just hoping you could tell me about this trunk I inherited. It has The Corbin Bros. Co hardware and a name stenciled in gold on one side. Leather handles on the sides and had leather straps on the top at some point. Seems to be in pretty good condition. Someone varnished the entire thing (inside and out).

If you have time, I'd love some idea of value as I hope to sell it. Thanks so much & greetings from southern Minnesota!

1911 trunk catalog
1911 trunk catalog  
Hello Mary,
This style trunk was usually called a Dress Trunk by the trunk makers and made of canvas over wood with thick hardwood slats on the exterior.  These were made with this type hardware from the mid 1890's through the 1910's by trunk companies all over the U.S. The name stenciled on the side would have been the owner and that was a very common thing to do at that time. Most people call these steamer trunks now, but a true steamer trunk was a shorter version of this type, only 12 to 14 inches tall by steamship regulations, but use in cabins on the ships. These larger trunks were used by women and men and the difference was usually in the way the interior was made. A trunk made for men's use was often called a Gent's trunk, and the ladies version a Dress Trunk. They had one or more trays inside, usually with a compartment for hats.  The picture of your interior did not show up with your second comment. But they were usually covered with either paper, muslin, or linen inside. The trunk does appear to be in very good condition and people do look for these trunks to use in their home or for storage purposes. Prices on trunks of this type in unrestored condition are usually in the range of about $150 to $250, a little more or less in some areas and based on condition and how nice the interior is.  I'm attaching a picture from a 1911 trunk catalog with a similar trunk, but each company made them with slight differences.  Some people try selling these on craigslist in their area or on other online auction websites.  Good luck.   Marvin  

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.

©2016 All rights reserved.