Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Immigrant Trunk


Trunk 1
Trunk 1  

Trunk 2
Trunk 2  
I have attached a couple of pictures of a trunk that I acquired from an estate.  I was wondering if you can tell me the approximate date and value?  It has wooden pegs instead of nails and also has wooden wheels underneath to roll it.  Part of the locking mechanism is missing but other than that there is no damage other than normal wear and tear.  Thank you in advance for your help.


This is what is usually called an immigrant chest, most likely made in northern Europe from the early to mid 1800's. But it is very hard to tell you much with certainty based on a couple pictures. These typically have hand forged iron hardware, including hinges and lock. They were mostly made for a family to bring their belongings to America and then could also be used as a storage chest. Some were also made in the United States, but the origin can be hard to tell without very close inspection of the type of wood and construction. It is unusual to have the wood pegged construction as most had iron nails on a rounded top and the dovetailed construction on the bottom as yours has. For an estimate of the value, I can only give a rough estimate and I would suggest you have some experienced antique dealer or appraiser from your area look at the chest in person. I see similar chests for sale with a wide range of asking prices, from about $600 to $1200, and the condition of all parts and completeness are very important to the value. If you search online for immigrant chest you will be able to see a wide variety of them, many of which have hand painted designs and elaborate metalwork.  I hope this helps some.  

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 I own the most extensive collection of historical documents, catalogs, maker's labels, cards, etc.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 I am always updating my inventory of historical documents and antique trunks.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