Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Vintage Trunk



Good day Mr Miller, I bought an antique steamer trunk at an estate sale in Revelstoke(BC), Canada  and I'd like to get more information about it(age, value and history). The trunk dimensions are 32 X 17 X 19. The inside is lined with paper and the outside with canvas. The lock is from Eagle lock co. There is no label on the trunk itself but there is a Postage label From the Canadian pacific express dating from 1950.



1920 trunk
1920 trunk  

1920 Sears Ad
1920 Sears Ad  

Your flat top canvas covered trunk is a style made by many U.S. and Canadian trunk companies from the 1890's until the late 1920's. There were many variations of these and many sizes and yours is a very typical size and style with the canvas covering and paper lining. Trunk locks were made by Eagle, Corbin, Yale, and several other lock companies for the trunk makers, but they never made trunks. Many of these trunks are found without a label so that is not unusual. It's nearly impossible to tell which company made most of these if there is no label present because most companies used the same generic hardware which they bought from large trunk hardware companies.  The metal clamps across the wood slats with the round bump on them were first used around 1910 and until about 1930, so I expect your trunk was made during those years. They made the same type of trunk for many years with very few changes and that is all confirmed by a number of old trunk catalogs I own from the 1890's to 1920's. I'm attaching a couple old catalog pages and ads so you can see some of the details they gave.  These were used by men and women and were common travel trunks. The flat top trunks are popular now and most people like to remove the canvas and refinish the trunk so it looks more like a piece of wooden furniture. The values vary some by area but these trunks in good unrestored condition with the interior tray normally sell in the range of about $100 to $250. They can often be bought for less in auctions or flea markets. I hope all 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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