Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Antique trunk


My trunk
My trunk  
I bought this trunk at a yard sale a few weeks ago, the man bought it at a yard sale himself so he had no idea the origin. It's a Barnard bros trunk, it has a sticker inside that says Barnard brothers Worcester MA but not year. It had the removable box/shelf is in good condition and it still has the lock and key. I'm just wondering how old it is and  maybe it's worth. It also has initials on the side MSM. Thanks!

1900 Trunk Catalog
1900 Trunk Catalog  

Barnard Bros Ad
Barnard Bros Ad  

The Barnard Bros. Trunk Company was established in 1876 and was in business until about 1930 making many styles of trunks. I've seen and had several of their trunks over the years. The style trunk that you have was made between the late 1880's to the 1910's with the same type of hardware and locks. They were made in several sizes and they all had a lift out tray inside.  They did not put dates on their labels, so it's nearly impossible to pin down the age of the trunk, but it is approximately 100 to 110 years old.  Many of these trunks were covered with heavy duck canvas and some were covered completely with sheet metal.  It was very common for people to have their initials painted on the side of their trunk. The value of these is based on their condition and completeness. I can't see too many details from one picture, but generally in unrestored condition these trunks have a value in the range of about $150 to $300 in most areas. I'm attaching a page from a 1900 trunk maker catalog which shows similar trunks and you can see some of the details they provided about the.  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 I own the most extensive collection of historical documents, catalogs, maker's labels, cards, etc.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 I am always updating my inventory of historical documents and antique trunks.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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