Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Antique Trunk Info


Trunk 1
Trunk 1  

Trunk 2
Trunk 2  
Hey, just wondering if you could tell me a little info on this trunk in the pictures. It has no markings that I can see. Thanks

1888 trunk catalog
1888 trunk catalog  

1888 trunk catalog page
1888 trunk catalog pag  
Hi Bosco,

This trunk is a style that was generally called a barrel stave top trunk per all the old trunk catalogs I've seen. This was a paper (imitation leather pattern)covered trunk and those were actually the less expensive trunks of the 1880s to early 1900s, compared to the leather of metal covered trunks. Many US trunk makers made round top paper covered trunks of this style and I see many with no markings or labels on them, and sometimes the label was on the tray which may be missing. I know from my research that the front latches were patented in 1882 and used until around 1915 and these trunks were made mostly from the mid 1880s until about 1900. The interior would have had a lift out tray and a lid compartment on the left side with a drop down door. I'm attaching a couple pictures from old trunk catalogs of similar trunks. Each company made them just a little different so you don't always see one exactly like your own trunk. But they made them in many sizes and with various numbers of hardwood slats. The outer hardwood slats were usually made of elm, which looks a lot like oak. Most of these were lined with paper but a few had linen or other fabric lining. Many people remove the old paper covering and refinish the wood body of the trunk, which can look very nice. If the paper covering is in very good condition it may be worth saving and keeping the trunk original. There are pictures of a similar trunk on the Showcase page of my website which I sold, in beautiful original condition, which is rare to find. By the way, many people now use the names camel back, humpback, dome top, etc, for these trunks, but the original name was a barrel top trunk. Most trunk makers also had their own model names such as "Gem", "Saratoga", "Beauty", etc.  These trunks were used by women and men. I hope that 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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