Collectibles-General (Antiques)/antique trunk



Clasp marking
Clasp marking  
My wife and I recently purchased a wall trunk to restore.  As lifelong DIYers, we are enjoying all the research and history involved in identifying the piece and look forward to the upcoming project.  That being said, I've come to a bit of a roadblock with identifying the manufacturer of this trunk as I can't seem to connect the markings to a known company (at least from my online searches).  The lock has a clear marking for 'Eagle Lock Co. Terryville CT PTD June 13 1882 Dec 6 1892' and there is a stamp on both side metal clasps that says 'PB & Co'.  Since I can only attach 2 pics, I'm including the specific ones of the markings.  If you would like any additional pics, feel free to email me.  I am interested in any information that you could provide.  Thank you in advance:)

1893 Palica Wall Trunk
1893 Palica Wall Trunk  

1905 Dresser Trunk
1905 Dresser Trunk  

Wall trunks really caught on during the 1890's even though there had been a couple earlier wall trunk designs going back to the 1860's. But between about 1890 to 1905 there were about a dozen different patents for wall trunks from different trunk makers. Each one was just a little different in some way, such as the design of the hinges. There were really two types of wall trunks and one style was a Dresser Wall Trunk, which had drawers that pulled out rather than a lift out tray. Some companies which were formed to make wall trunks were the Clinton Wall Trunk Co., the Miller Wall Trunk Co., the Duguid Trunk Company, and the Palica Wall Trunk Company, but other trunk makers also made wall trunks in addition to their other styles.  There were more trunk makers than most people realize. The locks for these trunks came from several large American lock companies, including Eagle, Corbin, Yale & Towne, Star, etc., none of which made trunks. The hardware such as the latches and clamps were made by several large trunk hardware companies by this time and not by the trunk makers themselves. Some trunk makers did have their own names put on some hardware or locks by the manufacturers, but that was the exception and not common. So, unfortunately the lock and latches latch marking you sent will not identify the maker of the trunk in this case. Many trunks did not have a label from the maker, or if it had one it is now missing. So, for wall trunks it would really help me to see a few pictures of the whole trunk, especially how the lid and hinges are designed, in order to help identify the maker. Also, if the Eagle lock is original, which it probably is, then you know the trunk was made sometime after 1892. Please send additional pictures and I will try to help you more.  
Please leave a rating if this information is helpful.


Collectibles-General (Antiques)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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.

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.

©2017 All rights reserved.