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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/What value does my trunk have?


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I have a neverbreak trunk that has seen better days. The leather handles on either side are broken, one is usable but split in half, the other is missing but the attachment hardware and strapping there is still in tact. The lock is hanging but the hardware for the lock is still attached, just where the lick would be us a hole. It appears to maybe be leather on the trunk itself but very worn and split, even missing in a small area. This is a flat top chest. Inside the material is worn and pulling off the trunk itself. About 3'x1 1-2'x2'. The side of the trunk also is stamped S.M.T.  Does this have any value in this condition.

Neverbreak trunks were a brand name used by the Goldsmith & Son Trunk company of Newark, NJ. There were still quite a few trunk companies making this type trunk when this was made. Your trunk is a style from the late 1920s to the 1930s and is made of veneered wood, or plywood, covered with a hard pressed vulcanized fiber sheeting, which when it was new did look a lot like leather. But nearly all of these trunks were covered with the vulcanized fiber and I can almost guarantee you that it is not leather. But in that condition it really doesn't matter much either way because it is split, worn, or missing due to lots of exposure to harsh conditions.  These trunks were almost always lined with paper and had a lightweight lift out tray. Unfortunately this trunk is not worth very much for several reasons, including the poor condition, the age, and the fact that it has the vulcanized fiber covering and is not a style that most people have restored unless it has lots of sentimental value to them. Restoration cost would almost certainly be much higher than the total value. The value as-is would be under $100 based on all the similar trunks I have seen and I do see these in fairly good condition now and then for $100 or less. 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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