Collectibles-General (Antiques)/trunk idenitiy


trunk outside
trunk outside  

trunk inside
trunk inside  
I found this trunk in my father's attic.  Can you tell me anything about it?  There are no manufacturer marks that I could find.  It has four little metal wheels on the bottom.  I appreciate any info you can give me regarding age or origin.

1897 trunks
1897 trunks  

1911 trunks
1911 trunks  
This trunk is a very nice example of a very popular trunk style from the 1890's until the 1910's or almost to 1920.  This was called a "Cross Slat" trunk with embossed metal covering. These were made in many sizes and varieties, including the round or barrel top models such as this, and flat top models. The style was actually patented in 1880 by Charles Taylor of Chicago, but the fancy embossed metal covering was developed later and used during the 1890's and until 1920 by some trunk makers. I would estimate the age of this trunk to be from around 1910, give or take a few years. There were a couple dozen patterns of the embossed metal, mostly with some floral or leaf designs.  These trunks all had a lift out tray and usually a lid compartment such as yours. The wood slats were usually made of elm, and sometimes ash or other hardwoods. This was a very popular style, so many trunk companies made them for quite a few years and there are still quite a few of this style still around.  It's a nice trunk and is certainly an antique and usable, whether as is or restored.  I'm attaching a couple old trunk catalog pages so you can see some similar trunks and what they said about them, from 1897 and 1911.  I hope 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 I own the most extensive collection of historical documents, catalogs, maker's labels, cards, etc.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 I am always updating my inventory of historical documents and antique trunks.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.

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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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