Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Flat Top Trunk

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QUESTION: Hi Mr. Miller
 I recently picked up an old trunk with out any labels, it does have some possible maker marks. The lock is an Eagle lock with PAT DEC 6, 1892, so I assume it was made after 1892. It is covered in green canvas and black tin. Any help in identifying it would be great. Thank you for your help. I will attach as many images as I can. I have more pics available.

1914 trunks
1914 trunks  
more 1914 trunks
more 1914 trunks  
ANSWER: Dave,
Your canvas covered flat top trunk was a style made by many US trunk makers from the 1890s to about 1920. You are correct about the patent date, which helps narrow down the time period, but the patented locks and parts were often used for 20 years or more.  Eagle Lock Co of Terryville CT made many types of trunk locks from the 1850s to 1950s, but never made trunks. The lock is high quality and probably solid brass.  There is usually a small key code on the lower front, such as T3, 30, G52, etc. and if you find that I can probably help you find a key. The trunks such as this often do not have a makers label. Many companies sold these trunk wholesale to luggage and furniture stores that sold them retail to the customer. Some companies did put label in most of their trunks but many did not.  It is a common trunk style used by men and women and often the only difference was the design of the interior. Some had leather tie down straps and some did not. The front latches were first patented in 1878 but were used in many varieties into the 1920's. I would estimate the age at 1910, but could be off by 10 years either way. All of the parts and the style was produced for many years. I am attaching a couple old trunk catalog pages from a 1914 trunk maker catalog showing some similar trunks. Most companies made many different models and sizes of these trunks.  Trunks of that time were made with canvas, leather, metal, fiber, and even paper covering.  I hope all this helps.

Marvin

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QUESTION: It does look a lot like the top left trunk in image #2, the model 128 from C&C. Also the # on the lock is 28. I've attached two more photos.

Answer
1900 Goldsmith trunks
1900 Goldsmith trunks  

Goldsmith 1900
Goldsmith 1900  
Yes, most companies made a trunk very similar to yours.  That catalog is from Cutter & Cutter in the Boston area.  They were in business from the 1870's I think until the 1930's.  I checked my key stock and I do have an extra 28 that I could sell you.  If interested please email me at Marvin@ThisOldTrunk.com for the details.  

Marvin  

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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Marvin D. Miller

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

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