Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Old trunk



Hi Marvin,
We were wondering if you could tell us anything about this trunk? It was given to my father a week ago by a lady he was working for as she was going to throw it away!
We don't know anything about it.

1914 steamer trunks
1914 steamer trunks  
Hello Belinda,

The trunk is almost certainly an American made trunk from about 1910 to the 1920's. That style trunk was the "steamer trunk" model, which is a low, wide trunk, which could be no more than 14 inches tall per early steamship regulations. They were designed to be used in the cabins of steamships.  These steamer trunks were made from the 1880's to about 1930, but that style lock, which was called the "Victor" lock was made from about 1910 to the 1930's.  These trunks were usually canvas covered wood, with hardwood slats usually made of elm.  They almost always had an inner lift out tray.  Many American trunk companies made these trunks so they were popular and fairly common. Many are found with no maker's label on them. Many similar trunks are still found, mostly in the United States. Today many people call any antique trunk a steamer trunk, but the name was given to the short models such as this. It is an antique trunk and appears to be in fairly good original condition, so it does have some value but usually not more than $75 to $100 in the U.S. in that condition.  I'm attaching a page from a 1914 trunk company catalog, with two steamer trunks so you can see some of the details they gave.  I hope that all 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 I own the most extensive collection of historical documents, catalogs, maker's labels, cards, etc.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 I am always updating my inventory of historical documents and antique trunks.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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