Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Age of trunk


Full size trunk picture
Full size trunk pictur  

Close up of lock
Close up of lock  
My husband and I recently purchased this trunk from a woman who bought it at a yard sale. I have no history on it. Could you possibly tell me an approximate age by looking at some pictures? There is a tag inside that reads "A. Rivere,
         Manufacturer and Dealer in
         Trunks and Bags.
         Trunks and Trunk Covers made to order
         Repairing Neatly Done
         390 Columbus Avenue.

Btw. 78th and 79th Streets,          New York.

1900 Goldsmith Trunk
1900 Goldsmith Trunk  

While I don't have any specific history information on the Rivere maker, I can tell you the approximate age of the trunk by the style of the hardware. By the way, there were actually dozens of trunk companies in New York during the period this trunk was made, which is from the 1890's to early 1920's.  All of the hardware on this trunk is "generic", meaning it was used by many trunk companies. The locks were made by several companies including Eagle, Corbin, Yale, and others. These canvas covered trunks were very popular and were made in many sizes and models.  Another company which made a trunk very much like this one, Goldsmith & Son or Newark, NJ called theirs a "Gents trunk".  But they also had a dozen models made for men and women. Many of these were called "Dress Trunks" by other trunk makers.  The interiors varied some by model, but these trunks always had one or more lift out trays.  I'm attaching a page from a 1900 Goldsmith catalog that shows their similar trunk, the Gents Trunk.  You can see some of the details they gave about that trunk. While it is nice to have a maker's label in these trunks it usually doesn't affect the value much.  I would say this trunk was most likely made between 1900 and 1915.   I hope that all helps.


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 I own the most extensive collection of historical documents, catalogs, maker's labels, cards, etc.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 I am always updating my inventory of historical documents and antique trunks.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