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Determining the Value of an Antique Steamer Trunk?

August 31, 2020

An open steamer chest with drawers.Hello, I am considering purchasing this steamer chest. I could not find the manufacturer info on the chest and the seller does not know. Any idea how much I should pay for this. Thanks!

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An open steamer chest with the drawers out.
 
An open steamer chest with hangers and drawers.
 
A steamer chest with hangers.
 
A steamer chest with hangers.
 
A closed steamer chest.
 
The handle of a steamer chest.
 

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
August 31, 20201 found this helpful
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This trunk is called a steamer wardrobe trunk and they can sell for $75 - $500 and up. Name brands usually bring in more money.
Condition is critical for high price and it is not really easy to tell the true condition from pictures. That is something you'll have to determine for yourself.

Here are some similar trucks listed for sale on eBay.
Asking prices are just a price a seller would like to receive for their item but only a sold item represent 'value' but listings can give you ideas of what people are asking for these trunks.

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www.ebay.com/.../i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=vintage+steamer...

Here is a link to eBay's sold listings so take a look at what people around the country are paying for similar trunks.
The prices seem to range from $75 - $500 according to the condition and where they are located as shipping would probably be around $100.

www.ebay.com/.../i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=vintage+steamer...

Check out a couple nice ones:

www.mercari.com/.../?gclsrc=aw.ds&utm_source=google&utm_medium...

www.etsy.com/.../antique-steamer-wardrobe-trunk?gpla...

www.ebay.com/.../133483725753?chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt...

You can get a much broader view by going to Google and seeing what sellers are asking for similar trunks.

www.google.com/search?q=vintage+steamer+wardrobe...

If you have time before you have to make a decision you might want to present your pictures to this site - its free:

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instappraisal.com/

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
August 31, 20200 found this helpful
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From the image you have posted here I can see some water damage on the inside of this trunk. There also seems to be some white mold on some of the drawers of the truck which would indicate it has been stored in a very wet place for several years. From what I can see from the images you have given to us to look it I would not pay more than $35 for this trunk. I fear that the mold I am seeing is not good and if you look closely at the second image on the bottom inside I can see water damage. I would ask for more photos to verify this and get some closeup photos of the drawers to make sure they are not molded.

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28 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

March 24, 2022

Hey. I have this trunk that I got handed down. It seems to be embossed metal with wood slates that have been painted green. The handles are leather and there are rollers on the bottom Im assuming used to move easily?

I'm looking for information on its year, maker and anything else about it. Also wondering if I sell it what would I ask? Thank you!

An old steamer trunk.
 
The open lid of a steamer trunk.
 
The bottom of a steamer trunk.
 
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February 6, 2022

Hello- I am interested in learning more about this chest i acquired. I believe it is a steamer chest?

Would like to know around what time period it is from. Thanks for any knowledge!

An old steamer chest.
 
The inside of a steamer chest.
 
How Old Is My Chest?
 

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February 12, 20220 found this helpful
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Atkinson & Long Mfg. Everlasting Lock Company was one of the premier lock making companies. Prior to 1836, trunk locks were made by hand. In 1836, A & L Everlasting trunk locks started being manufactured by machines, and went right up through the late 1920's. Without measurements and any other identifying info., it will be hard to put a name and age of manufacturing to your trunk. I checked several sites about antique trunks, and found a couple of photos that are quite close-looking to yours. Most likely, your trunk is from the mid 1850's to 1900.

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From the photos I found that are similar to your trunk, yours is in fairly rough shape, It is missing trim pieces on the front...at the very least. When I enlarged your photo of your trunk, I really couldn't get a good look at the ends or top. If you can find any other name, date, or other markings, post the info here. Also, the shape of the key will give some info for the year of manufacture, so posting a photo of the key might help to narrow down the age. I will "follow" this post to see if you find out anything else. Good luck.

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February 28, 20220 found this helpful
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The site www.stevensantiquetrunks.com/trunklocks.html says:
"Locks for the so called early steamer trunks were first made by hand before 1833. In or around 1836, trunk locks were made by machine and continued to be manufactured as such until the late 1920s with some simple modifications for the present day foot lockers."

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Locks for early American Steamer Trunks had one of two mounting styles: surface mounted locks or hole mounted locks. Your trunk has a surface mounted lock for a barrel key: the lock is attached to the flat surface of the trunk. These locks came with either a flat or barrel key. 
Everlasting Lock Company is in the list of the most prominent lock companies for early American Steamer Trunks (1860-1900) www.stevensantiquetrunks.com/trunklocks.html
I couldn't find information about the Everlasting Lock Company anywhere else.

An antique wood and steel cabin trunk with metal locks, leather handles and the original brass label by L. Goldsmith and Son Company, circa 1900 was sold for $ 280 s16home.com/.../antique-cabin-trunk-c-1900
An antique wood and steel cabin trunk with metal locks and steel corners circa 1900 was sold for $ 88 s16home.com/.../distressed-antique-cabin-trunk-c...

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April 7, 2021

Looking for any historical information about this trunk.

An old steamer trunk.
 

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April 16, 20211 found this helpful
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This is Antique Monitor Top 100-150 Years Old Trunk or Chest www.thepirateslair.com/2-nautical-pirate-chests-10.html
As I understand it, your suitcase is covered in leather. The photo is not of very good quality.

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Check if the metal brackets have stamps. By law items such as locks, latches, etc. had to have a patent date (if they are patented). This will help determine the approximate year of manufacture.
I don't know how high your trunk is. If your trunk is no taller than 14", then you can name it Steamer Trunk. Steamer trunk is a trunk, no more than about 14" high (width and length does not matter). This size requirement was one the steamship company's imposed.
To determine the price, I need to know size and more photos, especially of the interior. The price of such trunk in good condition is about $500-800.

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December 12, 2009

I have an old antique steamer wardrobe trunk. It is canvas covered and in pretty good condition. I want to know how much I should sell it for.

By Robin from Fresno, CA

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 147 Feedbacks
December 13, 20094 found this helpful

(I found this) 'Restored' trunk! With that being said, we buy a trunk, put 20 - 30 hours of work, buy parts and materials as needed, and supplies to finish the trunk, and then sell it. Our average price for a trunk currently ranges from $350 to $600 including shipping. Shipping usually costs us an minimum of $100.00 including the box and packing materials. Now you can see that we buy trunks in the $20 - $100 range depending on what the trunks is.

If you are selling an antique trunk, it is like they say, 'condition is everything'. We have a Trunk Valuation page that will help give you some guidelines in trying to value your trunk. I also recommend to look in antique stores, websites, and yes, even ebay for some price ideas, but remember to evenly compare what you have to what you are looking at.

Also, remember that what they actually sell for is what you need to know, not what they are asking for it, as they can ask whatever they want, but that does not mean it is worth that much. Most of all, be realistic. We do not do official appraisals, but we do recommend Brettuns or The Trunk Shop who will do this for a fee.for more info search for"Value of an Antique Steamer Trunk "good luck.

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September 14, 2021

I found this trunk. Is it real? I know nothing about this. Thank you in advance.

An old steamer trunk.
 
The lock on a steamer trunk.
 
An old steamer trunk.
 
An old steamer trunk.
 
Inside a steamer trunk.
 
Inside a steamer trunk.
 
The lock on a steamer trunk.
 

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Silver Answer Medal for All Time! 320 Answers
September 14, 20210 found this helpful
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Yours is a rounded-top (also referred to as dome, curved, and barrel-top) steamer or "packer" trunk, popular in 1870-1920. Yours will take quite a bit of restoration to bring back it's utility and charm, but it could be a worthwhile "labor of love" if you need storage!

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Silver Answer Medal for All Time! 425 Answers
September 17, 20210 found this helpful
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This "dome top" steamer trunk is real. Someone covered the inside with carpet, and most likely has hidden any label that might indicate a maker and date of production, on the inside of the lid. This trunk would have had leather strap handles on the ends. It looks to be in quite rough shape, but if you love it, it will be worth restoring. Post back here if you do restore it, so we can see it in it's glory !!!

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January 25, 2022

Hi, my wife has had this steamer trunk for about 20 years. She got it from her mom and I don't know how long her mom had it. It has some sentimental value as a gift from her mom and also she is from Cincinnati, which is the city name printed on the top of the trunk. She doesn't think it is an original family piece.

We have remodeled the room where we kept the trunk and now it doesn't really have a place in our house. We usually donate the furniture that we can't use anymore, but we are reluctant to donate this until without knowing the value. Any help will be appreciated! Thanks!

An old steamer trunk.
 
The open steamer trunk.
 
The top of a steamer trunk.
 

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 267 Posts
February 8, 20221 found this helpful
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That trunk is in pretty good condition. An expert would know more but I think that Mendel Drucker was in operation in the 1920s. They were a big trunk manufacturer based in Cincinnati. It's in good enough condition that it might be worth hundreds of dollars.

If you are interested in donating it, you might offer it to your local museum. Other ideas might be to a local theater company.

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December 23, 2021

Hi - I have had this steamer trunk for quite a while and has only been in my family, back a couple of generations. My grandmother emigrated from the UK using this trunk, via ship in the '40s after meeting and marrying my grandfather during WW2. She wound up becoming ill and went back to the UK for treatment and to be with family, but this trunk stayed behind and after my grandfather passed, being the oldest, I always had the responsibility to manage affairs, etc.

I always thought it was cool but never found a good use for it. Recently someone pointed out the swastika imprinted on the top of the trunk which I had never seen before and no one left in the family to ask about it - any thoughts or help would be appreciated.

An old streamer trunk.
 
The open steamer trunk.
 
An old trunk with a swastika faintly showing.
 
Close up of the steamer trunk's fittings and the "Taylor" name.
 

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Silver Answer Medal for All Time! 424 Answers
December 24, 20210 found this helpful
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The SWASTIKA on this trunk makes it for a very interesting piece, it looks like it had been peeled off, do not try and clean it off in any way. I would get hold of an antique dealer and give him all the information that you have told here. Any thing German from that period is highly sort after.

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November 7, 2021

Trying to identify and value this trunk. Originally covered in leather, a lot of it peeled away. There's a stamped picture inside the dome top.

Can't make out the writing on the lock?

An old trunk.
 
An old trunk with the lid open.
 
The lock of an old trunk.
 
A stamp on an old trunk.
 

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Silver Answer Medal for All Time! 440 Answers
November 22, 20210 found this helpful
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I found a lock similar to the one on your trunk, but in better condition: www.worthpoint.com/.../antique-steamer-trunk-lock-1800-brass...
On the lock it says Patd May 54 & Feb 67 Extd May 68
Patd means Patent date. So, the patend date for the lock is May 1854 and February 1867. I think Extd means Extended date - May 1868.
It is close date to the chest as well.
I found a similar leather dome trunk with a very similar lock www.worthpoint.com/.../large-antique-steamer-trunk-brass...
So, you have leather covered dome top trunk, mid to late 1800s, unknown maker (it is common).

I found an Antique Dome Top Leather Trunk with estimated price $40-80, it was sold in 2020 for $160 www.liveauctioneers.com/.../86964363_antique-dome-top-trunk

Antique Domed Leather Wooden Bound Trunk with a tooled leather body bound with an elm wooden slate, metal mounts, leather side carrying handles, lock & 2 clasps to the front. Inside is all lined in its original paper and has its original lift out tray. Better condition than your suitcase, it was sold for £320 GBP www.loveantiques.com/.../antique-domed-leather-wooden-bound... Estimated value of the similar Antique Vintage Steamer Trunk Chest Dome Top Leather Trunk With Tray is around $600 USD ancientpoint.com/.../125724-antique_vintage_steamer_trunk_chest_dome_top_leather_trunk_with_tray...

The price of Antique Dome Top Wood Leather Metal Distressed Pirates Treasure Chest Trunk is $750 www.1stdibs.com/.../

All Wood and Leather Fully Restored Dome Top Antique Trunk with ORIGINAL HAND TOOLED BRUSHED LEATHER, with Victorian Lithographs was sold for $1595 www.thepirateslair.com/370-leather-dome-top.html

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