This style wardrobe trunk was made primarily in Germany from about 1900 until the early 1930's. The style was patented by a German trunk maker named Moritz Madler of Leipzig, Germany and called the "Rohrplatten" trunk, which translates as the tubular or rounded slat trunk design. Most are made of heavy canvas over lightweight wood. The interiors were normally lined in blue and white striped fabric or paper such as yours. In the early 1900's many other European trunk makers started copying the design, mostly in Germany and also in Austria, Switzerland, and England. A few were even made in the U.S. for a few years by a couple large trunk makers. Madler used small metal labels on the exterior of their trunks but many other companies did not put labels on their trunks. We don't see these show up too often in the U.S. so some people think they are very rare, but they were a very common design for quite a few years. Of course most of them were probably destroyed over the years as many old trunks were, so now they are not exactly easy to find. Sometimes there are marking or a name on the lock, but that is often just the name or mark of the lock company. I would say there is a good chance this trunk is from Germany and from the 1920's to early 1930's, made by a company other than Madler. It appears to be in pretty good original condition. I am attaching a couple old ads from the Madler company, which tell of their patented trunks and that they are strong and lightweight. This rounded slat style was made in a variety of models.
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 I own the most extensive collection of historical documents, catalogs, maker's labels, cards, etc.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 I am always updating my inventory of historical documents and antique trunks.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.