Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Antique Trunk


QUESTION: Well Mr. Miller I am hoping you can help shed some light on this old trunk of mine. I am having the worst luck finding info, ad's anything. It belonged to my mother in 1980. She has no idea where she got it from. I attached two pics. I do have more if you need them.

1902 trunk catalog
1902 trunk catalog  
1911 trunk catalog
1911 trunk catalog  
This type trunk was called a "cross slat" round top, or barrel top trunk with embossed (or fancy) metal covering.  The cross slat style was patented in 1880 by Charles Taylor of Chicago, but the embossed metal covering came a few years later, around 1886 and was used on this style trunk from the mid 1880's to about 1915 by many American trunk makers. There were around 30 styles of the fancy embossed metal and the American Can Company made most of the metal covering. The wood slats were nearly always made of elm or ash. My best estimate is that this trunk was made between about 1900 to 1912.  It was a very popular style during those years. Many of these trunks do not have any label or markings of the maker, but some had an interior paper label. I'm attaching a couple old trunk catalog pages of similar trunks so you can see how they described them.  These were made in many sizes and with various number of wood slats on them. Most are paper lined inside and they all had a lift out tray.  
I hope that answers your questions.

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QUESTION: Would you recommend any books on antique trunks?

The only books which really give any good information and pictures of antique trunks right now are a couple by Linda Edelstein and Paul Pat Morse. One is called Antique Trunks, Identification and Price Guide. It is a good one to start with because it covers many of the types of trunks which were made and gives a general value range on them, but that can be off on a number of them now. The pictures are nice and it shows some rare styles also.  Another book they have done is on restoration techniques. I'm sure you can find these books for sale online by putting in their name and antique trunks.  


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.

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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