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Value of Steamer Trunk?

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An open steamer trunk.I wanting to sell this but I have no idea what it is worth or what it's even called. Please help me, I need some background information on this item so I can sell it.

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The front of steamer trunk.
 
The side of a steamer trunk.
 
The back of a steamer trunk.
 
The lock on a steamer trunk.
 
A metal brace on a steamer trunk.
 
The lock on a steamer trunk.
 

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Bronze Feedback Medal for 2021. 15 Feedbacks
May 5, 20210 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have a few questions to help find more info on this trunk:

1- What are the measurements? Length, width, height, depth inside?
2- Do you have the wooden tray that would rest inside on the rails?
3- Are there any kind of wheels, rollers or feet on the bottom?
4- Do you have the key for the lock?

I found several trunks on various sites that look a lot like yours, but without some measurements, it was hard to match up any for sure. Basic info: this is called a Dome-top Steamer Trunk or sometimes called a Camelback Trunk. They were made for at least 150 years, and in many sizes. The reason for the dome top, was so that when shipped anywhere by ship or train, the rounded top required the trunk to be stacked on TOP of piles of trunks, so that meant less possible damage, RATHER than a flat top piled UNDER other trunks and damaged or crushed----a rather good reason for the design !!!

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Your trunk has a lock patented April 1877, and the metal emblem at the front end of at least one of the wood strips over the top has a patent of March 1880. That means your trunk is from 1880 at the earliest. This type of trunk was made until at least 1940's. Some of similar or a bit fancier designs that had been FULLY restored, were going for mid to high $100.00's, and a couple fancier were going for over $1,000.00. Here is one listing I found on Ebay:

www.ebay.com/.../154416560417?

If you would post answers to the above questions, I can help find more info for you. Let me know and stay safe and healthy.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
May 5, 20210 found this helpful

The lock says April 1877. I would check with a dealer. This could be very valuable.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 196 Feedbacks
May 5, 20210 found this helpful

As gggd says, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered to figure out if you have something old or new made to look old.

The short answer is it is a Dome Top Steamer Trunk. The long answer will most likely require an in person look at it...see below:

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The closest I have found that may lend me to believe yours is truly old is one that has a very similar litho of the Victorian lady on the lid. Unfortunately, for me, when I try to blow yours up to look at it up close it becomes very pixelated--sorry--my old computer and eyes). Maybe you can see if it matches.

www.thepirateslair.com/730-black-gold-dome-top-steamer-trunk...

This listing proports their trunk to be 19th century. I do not know or have any trust of this site for accuracy so I am only sharing it as a starting point for you to start your research journey. I would need three to five independent, non-primary sources that I trust to confirm this fact that this litho was only used in 19th century trunks or one primary source verification. By primary source I mean if I could find an original advertisement or company pamphlet if there was one--that would confirm the age.

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Unfortunately with trunks, many did not have brand marks and advertisements for these items (especially if it truly is from the 19th century) were often just words with sizes--like domed steams with brass locks, and cedarwood construction OR very rough sketches that are very difficult to match to today's photos of the item all these years later.

Things that you will want a trunk expert to look at for you (ask at an auction house or antique dealer for a local trunk expert) are if it is all original, the condition based on their standards, and if the tray is missing or not. Things that help increase value are if you have the original key and it is still works also.

Trunks can be valued all over the place from $5 into the thousands but there are a many, many, many factors that get you from $5 to the thousands...including all of the above and where you are located and supply and demand for the piece.

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If you are looking for a quick sale and don't want to do all of the digging, start it at $3,000 and take best offer. The market is the true determination of value--so if you start outrageously high, the market (what someone will pay) will determine the current value.

Post back what the expert tells you!! Thanks for sharing!!

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 140 Posts
May 5, 20210 found this helpful

This piece would be better evaluated by a professional- maybe this link can help- www.justanswer.com/antiques

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