Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Latest find



C trunk
C trunk  
Hi Marvin,
Came across this last week in the back of a barn. Is this what's known as a civil war trunk? The lock has a pat. date of 1864 and Philadelphia stamped on, and the original paper is still in tact on the top. The interior is timber.I'm looking at replacing the handles and the 2 missing straps on the front, a quick tighten of the nails, painting of the metal and a coat of oil.
Did the steel side bands extend onto the case at the front?

Thanks again.


That's a nice find. Some people do refer to trunks of this style as Civil War trunks, however it was most likely made near the end or after the war as the patent date is 1864 and the locks were made and used on trunks until the early 1870'3. Back when the trunk was made it was probably just called a round top trunk or some trunk makers had their own trunk model names.  The brass lock is a very nice and somewhat unusual style and most likely made by Conrad Liebrich, a German lock maker in Philadelphia from the 1840's to 1870's. These trunks were made with leather or paper covering. The metal bands would also have been down the front side originally. Most were made of iron banding but some had brass wrapped around the banding. The interiors were usually paper lined, which is sometimes worn out or removed.  Many trunks of the 1850's to early 1870's had leather tie down straps on the front since the metal latches were not developed and patented until around 1872 and then there were many styles of them made by the 1880's.  I hope you enjoy working on your trunk.   


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 I own the most extensive collection of historical documents, catalogs, maker's labels, cards, etc.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 I am always updating my inventory of historical documents and antique trunks.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

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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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