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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/I don't know what it is!



Hi, I am trying to find out if this piece is worth keeping, needs a lots of work, has lost most of its color, I have not been altered.  I would like to know possible age, precedence and how much could be worth and if restoration could be a possibility?


I'm pretty sure that this is a carved chest from India. I've seen a variety of them over the years and somehow many of them have been brought over to the U.S.  I've seen them in a variety of sizes, but they all seem to have similar carvings and metal ornamentation. While I can't tell the size, this one seems to be a little larger and a little more ornate than most I've seen. These are hard to tell the age from pictures and they are still making and importing these chests from India, made to look old.  But I would estimate that this one is from the early 1900's.  While this is not something that I work on, I do believe it could be carefully cleaned and finished and would look very nice when completed. I've seen a couple similar chests priced in the range of about $500 to $800, but if properly treated and finished it could be worth even more.  It's usually best not to repaint these antiques, but to preserve any original paint and coloring and possibly treat the wood with tung oil finish or something to help preserve the wood and other materials.  I would suggest you look for an expert antique restorer in your area that could actually look this over and give you their opinion about the restoration of the piece.  I hope that helps.

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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 I own the most extensive collection of historical documents, catalogs, maker's labels, cards, etc.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 I am always updating my inventory of historical documents and antique trunks.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