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Home » Unlocking the Treasure: 7 Tricks to Value Antique Trunks

Unlocking the Treasure: 7 Tricks to Value Antique Trunks

History of Antique Trunks

Originally chests were made of wood and leather and were used to store clothes during transatlantic boat trips. Also known as steamer trunks their popularity spread and they found their way into the homes of the wealthy as a stylish wardrobe or to store heirloom clothing. This valuable history has added to the value of antique trunks.

value of antique trunks

Antique trunks date back to the late 1700s when they began as steamer trunks.

Traditionally, trunks were embellished with wooden and iron accents for a decorative touch. During the Industrial Revolution, manufacturers began to produce trunks with metal hardware like lockers and hinges, along with several customization options.

By the mid-20th century, trunks were made out of lighter materials like canvas or paperboard and were mass-produced. After World War II, the trunk was no longer a necessity, as airplane travel began to take off, and the use of trunks declined.

Antique trunks are now more than just storage units; they are treasures that have stood the test of time. Today they have become a sought-after collectible item, commonly used as decoration or furniture.

How to Determine the Value of Antique Trunks—7 Tricks

Whether you inherited one or stumbled upon a vintage trunk at a thrift shop, you may be wondering about the value of antique trunks. Fear not, as we have compiled a list of 7 tricks to help you value your antique trunk. So, put on your detective hat and let’s get started!

1. Research the Maker

The first step in valuing an antique trunk is to research the maker. Look for any markings or labels on the trunk that may indicate the name of the manufacturer or have a manufacturer’s mark. Once you have identified the maker or the mark, research their history and reputation in the trunk-making industry. This will give you an idea of the quality and the real value of your vintage trunk.

2. Inspect the Materials

Value of antique trunks

Today, antique trunks have become a sought-after collectible item.

The materials used in the construction of the trunk can determine its value. Check if the trunk is made of wood, metal, or leather. If it’s made of wood, determine the type of wood used. Exotic woods like rosewood, mahogany, and teak are more valuable than pine or oak. If the trunk is metal, check if it’s made of iron or tin. Trunks made of tin are less valuable than iron trunks. Leather trunks are typically more valuable than metal or wooden trunks.

3. Look for Unique Features

Check for any unusual hardware used in your vintage trunk or decorative elements like brass studs or intricate carvings. Unique features can add value to an antique trunk. Also, the presence of these features can indicate that the trunk was custom-made, and this automatically increases its value.

4. Determine Its Age

This is one of the most important factors to consider because the age of the trunk can also affect its value. Look for clues like the style of hardware, the type of wood, or any labels or markings that may indicate the era in which it was made. The older the trunk, the more valuable it is likely to be.

5. Evaluate the Condition

The condition of the trunk is critical in determining its value. Look for any damage like cracks, splits, or missing hardware. If the trunk is in excellent condition and has been well-maintained, it will likely be worth more than a trunk that’s damaged or has broken/missing hardware.

6. Check for Provenance

Value of antique trunks

Antique trunks are more than just storage units; they are treasures that have stood the test of time.

Provenance refers to the history of ownership of the trunk. If the vintage piece has a documented history of ownership by a famous person or has been featured in a prominent publication, the value of the antique trunk can increase significantly.

7. Consult an Expert/Appraiser

If you’re still unsure about the value of your antique trunk, it’s best to consult an expert. Professional appraisers are experienced in determining the value of antique pieces. They can offer their expertise and guidance to provide you with a more accurate appraisal.  Experts at Appraisily can easily help and guide you.

Now that you know the tricks on how to determine the value of antique trunks, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test. Remember to do your research, evaluate the condition, and look for unique features to get the most accurate appraisal. Who knows, you may have a valuable piece of history in your possession!

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