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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Could you guess a rough age?


Old trunk refinished
Old trunk refinished  

Old trunk originally
Old trunk originally  
This is a trunk that I got from my brother. Initially, in had been painted and I started to strip the paint. After not much success on the (I don't know the correct term) the wide boards, the paint "ripped". I discovered there was a muslin-type fabric over the boards, then the smaller slats and metal edged applied. One corner is covered entirely in a sheet of copper! My brother replaced the missing handles with the cheap rope, which serves the purpose. I didn't try to keep the fabric intact, due to condition. The inside appears to never have been papered, and doesn't seem to have been a ledge to set any type of tray. Just wondering if you could give a guess as to the age.  Thanks.

1911 Trunk Catalog
1911 Trunk Catalog  

1920 Trunk catalog
1920 Trunk catalog  
It looks like a good job of removing the paint and old canvas covering.  This style trunk was originally covered with canvas, sometimes called duck canvas, which was a common style from the mid 1890's until about 1915.  Based on the type of lock and hardware, this trunk could have been made any time between about 1890 to 1915, or even a few years later as a few companies kept making them until about 1920. These were made by many American trunk companies for many years.  These were used by men and women as travel trunks and were made in several sizes. These nearly always had a lift out tray inside and were covered inside with either paper or fabric, which may have all been removed.  I'm attaching a couple old trunk catalog pages so you can see how they described them back then.  Most people do remove the old canvas and refinish the wood as you have done because they look much nicer that way.  

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 I own the most extensive collection of historical documents, catalogs, maker's labels, cards, etc.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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