Hello, I am seeking information on this chest I've had in my family for at least 25 years. My father bought it used for my mother, but I don't know from whom it was purchased. It's clearly marked "Made by Murphy" with some kind of model number being 4017. I'm most curious about when this was made and possible value. I've done research online, but I feel I've exhausted my resources. All I've been able to find is that the company who made it is no longer in business and plenty of other people asking questions about similar Murphy chests. Is this chest antique, collectible, or just old? Though I know there's a huge difference between trunks and chests, I could not find an expert on chests, so you're my last hope! Any information you could offer would be much appreciated. Thank you! =)
Answer Hi Laura,
I certainly understand your frustration with trying to find more information about your cedar chest. You would think that it wouldn't be so difficult to find information on something with the name and model number on it. But since I do a great deal of research online about trunks and chests I can tell you that this is a fairly common experience for me. There is very little information on many of the companies that made these chests and the earlier trunks. I'm sorry I won't really be able to tell you very much either because of that. I did see a couple places that this company was in business from 1948 to 2004, but I'm not even certain where they were located and could not find any information about the various models of chests that they made. I saw that someone else had a wardrobe made by Cedar by Murphy so I expect they made various pieces of cedar furniture. Over the years I've seen a large variety of old cedar chests, but it is very hard to determine the age of them because they made the same styles for many years and there are no parts or hardware on most of them that can be used to tell the age. Antique trunks are easier to date because of the mixture of patented hardware used on them. Going just by the look of this chest I would say it could have been made anytime between the 1950s to the 1980s, but that is just my opinion. So, most of these cedar chests are just old, or what most people are now calling vintage. It is a nice cedar chest and still very useful, but the value is not very high on these from what I've seen and they usually sell in the range of about $200 to $500 if in very good condition. I hope that helps a little.
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.