Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Corbin Cabinet Lock Co. Trunk
Marvin - I found this trunk in Door County Wisconsin up in Gills Rock. It belonged to the grandfather of our neighbor (who himself is in his late 70s). He sold it to me for $60. There is a very small code on the front panel of the latch which says "STZ" right below where the key would be inserted, but other than the name of the lock manufacturer, I see no other markings. There is no key.
How old do you think it is?
What do you think its value might be?
How might I be find a key?
What do you think the corners and metal bands are made out of?
I can send you more detailed pictures if those might help.
Your flat top, canvas covered trunk is a style that was made by many American trunk companies from the 1890's to about 1920 based on the style of the hardware. These were made in many sizes and models, with the same or similar style locks and other hardware. Corbin and several other lock companies made trunk locks for the trunk makers, but they never made trunks. Lots of these trunks are found without a label for several reasons, such as some companies didn't put labels on all their trunks and some used outside tags or even labels on the bottom that were soon worn off or lost. Some did use metal name plates or paper interior labels. These trunks were made in models with leather tie down straps or without straps. It's impossible to narrow it down too much on the age, because your trunk could be as old as about 1895 or as late as about 1920 based on quite a few old trunk catalogs that I have. I'm attaching pages from a couple of them, one is 1900 and the other 1911, showing similar type trunks. These were used by men and women as general travel trunks. Nearly all of them had one or more interior trays with compartments. The code on the lock is the key code and based on my study of the Corbin locks, the code is probably ST2, rather than STZ. They had a couple dozen different style of keys so they are not real easy to find sometimes. I have hundreds of old trunk keys that I have bought over the years and I just looked through them and found one of the ST2 keys that I can sell you. The metal on these trunks is usually painted sheet iron or tin and it's fairly thin on most of them. The value on these trunks in good unrestored condition is in the range of about $100 to $200 in most areas. They can be found at auctions and flea markets sometimes for less. Lots of people like to refinish the flat trunks to use as a table top and for storage.
If you are interested in buying the ST2 key please email me at Marvin@ThisOldTrunk.com.
I hope the information helps.