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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Moritz Madler of Leipzig Trunk



Hi Marvin,

After looking at some of your other post I beleive this trunk might have been made by Moritz Madler of Leipzig, Germany.  

As you can see there are initials on one side.  My question is would this have been done at a factory or would an owner in that time have someone else add it at a later date?  If done a the factory, do you known if there would be anyway to trace back who it was done for?  In the corner of the one label is the number 85676.  Would love to find the history of the person that had this trunk.  

Thank you in advance for any information.


Yes, you are correct, that is a trunk from Moritz Madler of Leigpig, Germany. The label mentions the German patent for their round/tube shaped slats and the number is the German patent number, which I believe is from the late 1890's. But these were made into the 1920's and also by several other companies into the 1930's. I have read that the initials and names were usually painted on by the retail stores. Some trunk makers did have their own retail store and some did not and sold their trunks wholesale to the trunk and luggage stores. The trunk stores / retail stores would stencil the names or initials on the trunks they sold.  I do not know of any source to find out who the owners were or when the trunk was purchased. Most of these companies left very little or no historical records that exist today. You may have better luck checking the history of a Dr. with those initials from St Louis but that could be quite hard also. I've had many trunks that I would love to know more about the owners and history and a few times I've been able to find more history, but it's really been the exception.  I wish you the best of luck in your research.

Marvin Miller

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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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 I own the most extensive collection of historical documents, catalogs, maker's labels, cards, etc.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 I am always updating my inventory of historical documents and antique trunks.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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