i came across this old trunk and cannot find any info on it. the inside is all galvanized. its flat and pretty long. it says usa on the back side and the initials A.J. on the front. can u help me figure out a possible maker or date it?
Answer Hi Anne,
I have studied, restored, and collected trunks for about 40 years now, and based on that background I can say that this is not a trunk manufactured by a trunk company as a commercially available product. This is almost definitely a handmade, homemade trunk by an individual and because of the size and materials it was probably made as a type of tool trunk. Several trunk companies did make tool trunks and some are shown in old catalogs I have. But they did not use this type of hardware, locks, and covering as yours has. I would say the initials are of the original owner and possibly the maker of the chest. It appears that it originally had some type of inner tray because of the small holders in the inside corners. It's very hard to determine the age of this type item because the materials and hardware have been available from around 1900, but it could have been made quite a bit later. Unless you had some history from the owner you will probably never know the details of this item. I wish I could help you more but that all I can really tell you about it.
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 I own the most extensive collection of historical documents, catalogs, maker's labels, cards, etc.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 I am always updating my inventory of historical documents and antique trunks.
Organizations Association of American Antique Trunk Restorers, President.
Publications Primarily on the website www.ThisOldTrunk.com
Cotton & Quail Antiques newspaper (Southeast). Antique Journal magazine.
Education/Credentials 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.