There were dozens of trunk companies which made the fiber covered trunks and most of them went out of business by the 1930's to 40's and very little or no information is now available on most of them. The covering on those trunks is vulcanized fiber which is a heat treated pressed fiber sheeting which was usually glued to a plywood body of the trunk. It was a very durable material which was fairly waterproof and held up better than leather or canvas, so many of the trunks of the 1920's to 1940's and later were made with this covering. It was made in many colors also. Sometimes after many years and depending on how the trunk was stored the fiber covering would become warped or cracked. Since the fiber is glued to the wood it is very difficult to remove. Most of the time if I work on a fiber covered trunk I clean it with a multipurpose cleaned with some fine steel wool and then if the color is very dull it can be repainted or it can be given a coat of clear varnish which will help preserve it and bring out the color better. I'm attaching a couple pages from a 1920 trunk catalog which show some fiber covered trunks so you can see what they said about them. I hope that helps some.
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Thank you for your fast and informative reply. I have also a wardrobe with this covering, so I will first try your ideas for bringing back color. It doesn't sound like there is much value, so I may try some paint of different colors.
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 I own the most extensive collection of historical documents, catalogs, maker's labels, cards, etc.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 I am always updating my inventory of historical documents and antique trunks.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.