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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Old Trunk I inherited



Open trunk
Open trunk  
I am trying to find info on trunk I inherited. It has been told that this trunk came from England when the family immigrated from England. Any info you may provide is greatly appreciated, I'm especially interested in value for insurance purposes

Cross Slat Trunk 1911
Cross Slat Trunk 1911  

1897 Barrel Top Trunk
1897 Barrel Top Trunk  

This is an American made trunk, called a Barrel Top Cross Slat trunk. These were made from the late 1880s to about 1915 by many American trunk companies.  All of the hardware and parts are of American design and patented in the U.S.  But several large trunk makers on the east coast, primarily Newark, NJ, exported many trunks to Europe during those years. I have found earlier trunk maker documents and articles on the companies which verifies this. So many American made trunks were shipped overseas and then brought back by immigrants. These trunks were made in a variety of sizes and models but they were very similar and used the same hardware. They were wood and covered with either metal, leather, or canvas. There were many styles of fancy embossed metal used on some of them. The locks were made by several American lock makers including Yale & Towne, Eagle Lock Company, and Corbin.  I am attaching a couple old catalog pages which show similar trunks so you can see the details they provided.  The trunk is an antique but it is not a rare or unusual style and the value of these in good unrestored condition is in the range of $150 to $300, maybe more if in very good condition. I do see them advertised at higher prices sometimes, but that is the average current selling price range.  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 I own the most extensive collection of historical documents, catalogs, maker's labels, cards, etc.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 I am always updating my inventory of historical documents and antique trunks.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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