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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Info about old wooden trunk/chest


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I just bought a great wooden trunk/chest an would like some information about it if you can help. The individual I bought it from was a dealer and ad no history what so ever. I've never seen anything quite like it. Could it be an old tool or work chest for this Franklin person? The image on the inside of the lid is a raised cut out veneer of an indian on a horse. If you know, I would appreciate an age, purpose, and possible value. Thank you very much.


I would call this a chest rather than a trunk because trunks were generally used for travel purposes and I doubt that this was a travel trunk.  It is made in the style of an early tool or carpenter's chest. Usually these were handmade by the owner and he probably carved his name in the front. Many of these also had some compartments or holders inside for smaller tools, saws, etc. but not all of them.  I don't see something like that in the picture.  It's harder to tell the age on handmade items and without close inspection of the hardware, but it is very likely from sometime between the 1890's to 1930's. These were made in this style for many years. An experienced antique appraiser could inspect the chest and possibly narrow down the age based on the construction and hardware. Providing a value is also more difficult than on a travel trunk, and it can depend some on the size and usefulness as something like a blanket chest or coffee table. Condition is also important. I do see similar chests now and then in shops and the prices can vary quite a bit depending on location and the details of each chest. But typically I see retail prices on these in the range of about $300 to $600 but sometimes higher.  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 I own the most extensive collection of historical documents, catalogs, maker's labels, cards, etc.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 I am always updating my inventory of historical documents and antique trunks.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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