I was wondering if there was any way to find out how old this wardrobe trunk is? It has Henry Likly & Company Makers, Estalished 1844 Rohcester, NY on it. It also has a ironing board, a place for a iron and a stuffed fabric ball that we are figuring is a place for a hat. Also any idea where I might be able to find information on what it originally looked like, I would like to clean it up and restore for personal use.
Even though the Likly company was established in 1844, they didn't start making that style wardrobe trunk until about 1915, but most of them were made in the 1920's and 1930s when they were very popular. They made many models with various attachments and most had the wooden hangers and fabric lining. Yes, the fabric ball was for pinning hats on. I've written a summary of the history of these which is available on my website on the Showcase Page of ThisOldTrunk.com Many companies made similar wardrobe trunks and in various sizes. While some of the earliest wardrobe trunks had canvas covering, the majority of them had hard vulcanized fiber covering which was usually black, blue, brown, or dark green. Some other colors were also used and some had a special fabric covering, such as Oshkosh Chief wardrobe trunks. I'm attaching a page from a 1920 trunk maker catalog of a couple wardrobe trunks. That's really about all I can tell you from the pictures. The fabric is original and so you can see about how it looked when new, it's just aged and worn.
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 I own the most extensive collection of historical documents, catalogs, maker's labels, cards, etc.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 I am always updating my inventory of historical documents and antique trunks.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.