Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Trunk.

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Hello. My name is Ben. I recently came across a trunk. I'm thinking it was made around 1900. It has a tag on it. That says Patented DEC. 4th, 1900. The only logo's I've been able to locate. Are on the brass fitting's. The letter D are made on them.It also has a brass plat on top that say's W.H. Thompson Lexington KY. On the inside, there is a sticker with a lion, and the letter D on top of a trunk. The trunk also had leather straps on the top. With age they have came off. The trunk is also missing the key. The lock flap says Corbin Cabinet Company. New Britain Conn. Would you know where I could get a key? Also if I refinished the trunk would that hurt, or help its value? Any advice you have. Would be appreciated.

Answer
Drucker Label
Drucker Label  

Drucker trademark
Drucker trademark  
Ben,
Your trunk was made by the Nathan Drucker trunk company of Cincinnati, OH.  The December 1900 patent date was for some of the special corner clamps on their trunks which was awarded to Morris Drucker. Some of their parts have a large D on them and some of them didn't. I've seen some of their labels also and they registered their new trademark with the lion and D on it in 1897.  Your trunk was probably made between about 1901 to about 1910. They made many types of trunks and used locks from several different lock companies.  The Corbin locks usually have a small key code stamped into the lower front side.  If you can find the key code you can probably find a key and I have a variety of their keys and sell one now and then. Look for a small code on the front such as T2, B52, ST3, etc. Unless your trunk is in excellent original condition, it would not hurt the value if it was refinished well.  Most of these trunks are not in excellent original condition or a very rare style. If you have any doubts about that you could email a couple pictures. Most of the Drucker trunks were canvas covered and the canvas can be carefully removed and the wood refinished.  That usually improves the value and the attractiveness of the trunks and they can be very nice items for the home. I'm attaching a couple pictures of Drucker labels for you.    
I hope that helps.
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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