Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Royalrobe

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Question
Trunk
Trunk  

trucnk
trucnk  
We had a customer drop this trunk off for our online auction.  I am worried that it is worth more than what our online auction will fetch for it.

They have had it for 30 years and just want to get rid of it, still... I am a sucker for history.

For the age that this trunk must be, it is in wonderful condition.

2nd label: GENUINE YULCANIZED HARD FIBER

Latch Buckles: WORCESTER T&S CO. MASS.
** WHAT APPEARS TO BE A PATINENT NUMBER: PAT.APCDECR

Lock Latch: EAGLE LOCK CO. U.S.A. TERRYVILLE 00NN
** WHAT APPEARS TO BE A SERIAL NUMBER: 022U78

I have more pictures, then what I can attach.

Answer
Hello Tara,

I just received the notice of your question, so sorry this is late. This is a wardrobe trunk made by the Seward trunk and bag company of Petersburg, VA, and it's from the 1930's to early 40's. There were many trunk companies that made nearly identical wardrobe trunk models.  They are very old and interesting to some but they are still fairly plentiful so the values are not very high on these yet. Even in very good condition they can be hard to sell partly because of their large size.  I used to sell them now and then but I quit dealing in them because they are harder to sell and cost a lot to ship. The vulcanized fiber covering was used on many trunks of the 1920's - 1940's.  The patent number you gave was not a patent number but rather a marking for "patent applied for" meaning they didn't get the patent issued yet.  The number on the lock is the key code so that you can find a key when it's missing.  You can still find keys for those locks and I probably have one in my collection of a couple hundred trunk keys.  So, the trunk is vintage and interesting but they don't usually sell for more than around $200 to $250 but sometimes in a good antique shop they may get more for them. There is also some additional history information on the Showcase page of my website on Wardrobe trunks in case you are interested in reading it.   I hope that helps.

Marvin   ThisOldTrunk.com

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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