Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Value of Trunk
QUESTION: Hello my name is Kara. My husband and I recently bought a trunk at an auction and we are having some trouble finding information on it. The trunk has a tag that says Newcomb-Endicott Co of Detroit. We found lots of info on this company but nothing about the trunk. On the left side of the trunk it has the initials W.A.P and on the inside it has a certificate with a Strength Beauty trademark and a number 247. I will attach the pictures. It is a beautiful trunk and still has all the shelving and embroidery. I would like to know some information on the trunk and a price if possible. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. Looking forward to any info you can provide.
While I can give you some information about your trunk, I cannot give you an estimate of the value based on pictures of the labels. First, the trunk was actually made by the N. Drucker & Co. trunk manufacturer of Cincinnati, Ohio. They used that trademark from 1897 to the 1930's and made trunks for many retail stores. They did not always put their name on the trademark labels. Notice the tag says "made specially for" rather than "made by". Drucker made many styles and sizes of trunks for many years and sold many to large retail businesses. Also, there is very little information available online about most trunk companies. You may find some brief history of the company and the owners, but not usually any details about the actual trunk models and styles. I've studied and researched trunks and the makers for about 40 years and most of my information comes from old catalogs, cards, ads, labels, etc. that I have found. I do get a little information from online sources about the history plus I have information based on thousands of trunks I've seen over the years. I am curious about what you mean by the shelving and embroidery on your trunk and that makes me think you have a wardrobe trunk. If it is a wardrobe trunk those typically have several drawers and sometimes other features inside such as a laundry bag, and curtain to separate the hanging clothes compartment. Anyway, if you can send pictures of the whole trunk I can tell you more. There is also a summary about wardrobe trunks on my website Showcase page.
Marvin Miller ThisOldTrunk.com
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QUESTION: Thank you for such a quick response. I will attach pictures of the inside of the trunk. I believe it may have been a wardrobe trunk.
Actually that style trunk was not called a wardrobe trunk but was usually called a ladies dress trunk, but some like that were also used by men with a little different interior design. Some were lined in nice fabric and some were paper lined. The exterior is most likely covered with a special heat treated waterproof fiber sheeting called vulcanized fiber. It was made in many colors and sometimes resembles leather, but it lasted much longer than leather. It looks like it's in very good original condition and Drucker made very good trunks. This style was made from around 1915 to the 1930's or a little later. Most of these trunks had metal hardware that was brass plated and sometimes some of that has worn off, but it still looks good with the antique look. In that condition with the complete interior the retail value is generally in the range of around $250 to $350, but it can be worth more in some areas. These are great for storage and the flat top trunks are very useful as a table type surface.