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Determining the Value of an Antique Steamer Trunk

Category Antiques
Whether you are thinking of selling your antique steamer trunk or wanting to insure it, you need to be able to determine its value. This is a guide about determining the value of an antique steamer trunk.
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By 1 found this helpful
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

Answers

December 13, 20091 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.

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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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December 14, 20090 found this helpful

I seldom get more than $25 for a steamer trunk at one of my auctions.

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December 14, 20090 found this helpful

Hi Robin,

We've sold a few nice vintage steamer trunks,and unless you know exactly how the person buying it is going to want it refinished, the best way to sell it is pretty much "as is". Depending on condition and age, they can go from $20 to $100 in "as is" condition. If you are going to advertise it somewhere like eBay or ETSY, you'll need to consider the cost of shipping. That can be a lot more than the trunk's initial cost.

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You might try listing it with Craigs List and sell it locally. You may as well sell it locally where the buyer can pick it up
without spending so much at the shipping company. That way, you can even ask more for it.

Most people want an old trunk "dressed up" to fit their own decor, so they'll want to do the work themselves. Unless you'd like to keep the trunk for awhile and enjoy the work that fixing it will require, just sell it "as is".

Hope this helps. Julia in Boca Raton, FL

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October 10, 20100 found this helpful

I bought mine fore $50 dollars at an estate auction, on one hand full of neat old vintage clothes, on the other hand, absolutely reeking with mildew and had to be cleaned. I think it depends on the market. Garage sale: probably $20. Auction: $50 or maybe more if it's in really top notch shape. Antique store: assuming it's in good condition, probably $100-$140, depending on where you are in the country and how much traffic the antique store gets. It seems like you can charge a little more on the coasts (USA).

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Ebay: there's alot of competition and you have to consider postage, so I'd say start start at $40 and hope it might go as far as $80 for a standard trunk. I looked and there are some on there going for $400 for buy-it-now, but they're exceptional pieces, and who knows if they'll really sell for that. Craigslist is sort of hit or miss because you have to assume that someone in your area is willing to come and get it. You might be able to go $50 with Craiglist. Good luck.

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April 30, 20170 found this helpful

My great grandparents Erho came from the old Country and went through Ellis Island to Chicago and migrated to British Columbia,Canada. I believe they traveled with the wood/metal steamer trunk. I am going to be 69 years old Aug 2017.

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March 18, 20180 found this helpful

I have a wardrobe steamer trunk I want to sell it has 5 drawers and a closet with hangers all intact also beveledlid

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By 0 found this helpful
July 20, 2018

An antique family trunk just came into our possession. It is very dark blue in color with a Long Lock padlock which on the front has an engraved marking of T907.

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The back has PAT APLD FOR. Can you please help with the age and maybe origin to see if it matches our family story.
Thank you.

Answers

July 20, 20180 found this helpful

The Long Lock Company took over another company in the 1930s and closed down in 1995. The words loon like an abbreviation for patent applied for.

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July 20, 20180 found this helpful

Now that is one beautiful trunk!
Looks almost like it was still in the showroom for sale.

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  • I do not believe anyone on this site can help but then you never know who is "reading" so be sure to keep checking for answers.
  • I believe you should try for some appraisals as you may or may not wish to know the value (but it never hurts to know) but the only way an appraiser can make an evaluation is to know something about the truck so in this light you could get several appraisals and maybe find out a little more with each answer.
  • Here are a some sites to check out. These seem to be free but check each one out.
  • antiques.lovetoknow.com/Free_Antique_Appraisals_Online
  • www.countryliving.com/.../
  • The following sites charge but the amount is $17 and $20 and they may have a lot more information.
  • www.barnebys.com/.../
  • www.valuemystuff.com/.../pricing
  • It would be nice to know more about this lovely piece - hope you can get the family history you are looking for.
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July 21, 20180 found this helpful

What a lovely piece!

It is always fun to piece together family history.

Are there any photos of the trunk appearing in the family albums to help date history? I know vacation photos back in the day are nothing like today's selfie every 30 seconds...but you never know if someone captured an image that may help you date it. Even if it was in the background.

Was there anything in it when found? Could anything have slipped in to the lining to help date it (a stray love letter perhaps or sheet of paper)?

If this is the same lock company, this link has a lot of history of the company and talks about the current site being apartments now:

www.richmond.com/.../article_e272af79-c467-5406-ba32-137b27c4a5d4...

To help you with your research if you believe this is the right company, you can do Google Images search (separate tag in Google menu) to see if there are advertisements for the item in print. That could help you date it, as it is a unique design with the brass? cross stripes. The search could be images advertisements and (one at a time) Rogers & Madison Trunk Co and the later incarnation of Seward Trunk Co.

One more thing that may help you with history is if you have access to old newspapers from the town of the former owner. I say this because I have researched old newspapers through our history center in Pittsburgh and learned of my grandmother and her sisters' travels...and even the travels of their parents.

The small newspapers of the day often detailed when so and so went to visit such and such as big news! I say this because if the person who owned this trunk traveled, you may be able to learn of these travels via old newspapers.

Some of the old newspapers archives are free online, some you have to go to a history center and pay the entrance fee and then you can review. I found mine by putting in my town and newspaper archives into our friend Google.

The old small town newspapers are neat for any family research!

Please let us know what you learn about this lovely piece!! I hope you can have enough to write a neat family history! Never know what trip a piece of luggage will take you on!

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July 21, 20180 found this helpful

I love old trunks and this one fascinated me so I continued to look for anything that could relate to your trunk and did find a few "maybes" that might help with your search.

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July 21, 20180 found this helpful

Do a search on "Google" enter all the info. you have and see what comes up.

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Anonymous
July 23, 20180 found this helpful

Thank you

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July 23, 20180 found this helpful

Thank you so much for your response and appraisal sites. Story has itvthat this trunk belonged to my mother in laws great grandfather and came from Spain with him. Dates would be 1850ish with family trees dates that I have. So just curious. Sadly We know no family stories that surround it.

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July 23, 20180 found this helpful

Thank you so much for your response! We will take this journey with the trunk and hope to find. It is from my mother in laws family and we know no family where about or stories. It has our interest though and we will continue to research!!

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July 23, 20180 found this helpful

The trunk came with only the story of coming from Spain with my mother in laws great grandfather. Date around the earliest of 1850ish if my family tree dates are correct. Nothing in it except some photos that family sent (which were amazing).

Thanks for your response and we will keep searching.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 18, 2017

How much is this vintage black humpback steamer trunk worth? We could not find a manufacturer's name of the trunk.

Description -
Gorgeous rare antique seaman's dome top trunk
1800s Era
25" X 34" X 22"

Handles on both sides. Front lock in middle of trunk does not work. No key.

Answers

November 19, 20170 found this helpful

Its going to be really hard to identify without a manufacturer. You could take it to an antique dealer

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November 20, 20171 found this helpful

Kovels is an antique trunk specialist and they have put together a generic price guide for many of the more popular antique trunks. You can go there and create an account. i saw a trunk similar to yours on the site. If you create an account you can see what a trunk like yours will sell for. Furthermore, on this site you could take a photo of your truck and they can help you to identify it better. https://www.kov  uide/trunks.html

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November 20, 20170 found this helpful

That's great - thank you!

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November 22, 20170 found this helpful

It is worth about 100 dollars. You can go on E-Bay and wait for your item to be posted. Watch for actual sales, not just listed prices.

You can also have them e-mail you when a similar item is posted.

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November 22, 20170 found this helpful

Thank you!

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By 0 found this helpful
September 5, 2018

I am looking to put an age on this trunk I bought today. It is not in great shape, but I don't care. I just want to know when and where it was made.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 20, 2018

I have this old steamer trunk and want to learn its history. Can anyone tell me anything about it? We have put the time frame at 1877. It has a Patton stamp on the hardware that says Patton 77. That's all we can see. So far we have found that it belonged to WM H. Jackson and by some of the stickers on it, it has been all over. It has Star Line on it and something about AZ. It's a beautiful piece and I would love to know its stories.

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