Antique Trunk Values

Antique Trunk Value

Antique Trunk Value

Antique trunk value greatly depends on many factors including rarity, condition, size and style. When researching what your trunk may be worth you will run into a wide array of asking prices. In the end it all comes down to what someone is willing to pay for what you have. If you browse craigslist posts you will most likely see many trunks for sale. Often times these prices are very over inflated and should not be used to judge the value of your trunk.

Size matters

Smaller sized antique trunks being 30 inches or less in length generally sell easier than large trunks. Most people simply do not have room for a large trunk. Please also remember that sentimental value has no monetary value. No matter how much you love your trunk for whatever reason it will not increase the value.

Condition of your Antique Trunk

Condition is a big factor to consider when valuing your antique trunk. Missing hardware pieces, broken slats, rust, large dents and other defects make a trunk unappealing for household use. Broken slats and missing hardware pieces can be replaced but will look “new” and out of place unless you can find original parts. Having an original key for your trunk will increase the value by about 30 dollars. If the original interior tray is present and in good condition this can also add some value.

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Rarity and Design of Your Trunk

 Picture of a martin maier trunkThe most important factor in determining the value of your antique trunk is rarity and style. Louis Vuitton trunks can sell for 3,000 to over 20,000 dollars while a common dome style trunk may only sell for 75 to 150 dollars. Martin Maier (pictured to the left) and any trunks made of all wooden slats command a much higher value and can range from $500 to $3,000. Goyard brand trunks are also worth a significant amount. Most french made trunks are worth much more than American made steamer trunks.

Painted and Altered Trunks

 Trunks that have been painted are on the very low end when speaking of value and generally do not sell for more than 35 to 50 dollars. If you plan on having the paint stripped off please use caution when doing so. We regularly find trunks with toxic lead based paint on them. You can buy lead test strips from any home improvement store.

Picture of a painted trunk
Painted Trunk
Pictureof a trunk with no paint
Same trunk with no paint

In the above pictures you can see the remarkable difference in this trunk after the paint is striped off and the trunk is restored. The value in painted condition was $50.00 at the most but after striping and restoration it sold for $600.00.

 

Restored, as is and elaborate trunks

Generally speaking the more ornate and decorated your trunk is the more it may be worth. Most antique trunk values can be increased greatly with a professional restoration or a Do It Yourself Restoration. This is not always the case though and caution must be used when restoring any trunk. If you have provenance of your trunk belonging to a historical figure or have a rare style of trunk such as a Saratoga trunk it  is best to leave it as is. Most common trunk values range from 50 to 200 dollars depending on the venue it is being sold in and how much the buyer is willing to pay.

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Estimate the Value of Your Trunk

With the above information in consideration the average American made trunk is worth about 100 to 300 depending on the style, size and condition. If fully restored  prices can be anywhere from $400 to $900. Most french made trunks will bring over $2,000 or more. Please remember that there are exceptions to every rule and that this is just a generalization. You are more than welcome to contact us with pictures of your trunk or simply leave a comment below and we will tell you what we would value your trunk at.

Learn More About Trunk Restoration & Refinishing

Helpful Antique Trunk Links

(DIY) Learn How to Restore a Trunk – A do it yourself guide

Pictures of Restored Trunk – See some of our before and after pictures

Antique Trunk Appraisal Tools – Useful tips tp help refinish your trunk

How To Replace Trunk Handles (Video) – Easy to follow video about handle replacement

How to Clean Out The Inside Of A Trunk (Video) – How to remove paper and refinish the inside of your trunk

View Trunk Catalogs From The 1800’s – Real catalogs showing trunks for sale from the late 1800’s

FAQ About Antique Trunks – You have questions, we have answers

101 thoughts on “Antique Trunk Values

  1. CA Taylor trumkworks chicago New York established 1889
    Flat top professional theatrical trunk
    Has key inside bare

  2. Hi I have a Martin Maier Steamer trunk. Years ago I painted it for my daughter’s toy chest. It is 5 feet long 36 inches wide and 16 inches high. I’m not sure what to do with it. Should I try to strip the paint off or leave it and try to sell as is?

  3. I would like to know if anyone could tell me the approximated value and year of a trunk. I have photos of it and the markings.

  4. I have a trunk that I have used for an end table for 50 years. It is in very good condition and has all the
    original hardware including handles etc. The neat thing is it has the dates (hard to see but can)
    1878 on the metal corners. No key. Inside not great.

    Lois Treacy

  5. We are in possesion of a steamer trunk my wife used when she immigrated from Switzerland in 1964. She worked at a a Swiss bank and a young jewish boy she was training mentioned he had a trunk he wanted to sell. She traded an Armoire stored in the attic of her home for the trunk which she used to ship her belongings. She departed Bremahaven via Hapaig lines bound for Houston. We have been on possesion of the trunk since her arrival in Houston in Sep 1964. She does not know how old the trunk is but supecks it was made prior to WWII. I think it could predate WWI. US customs pride on lock housing because they could not open it with a key…we are not sure if we still have the rectangle key mechanism …. we do have the kesy and the on lock is still in place.

    The trunk is wood with metal strapping and is in sound condition albiet paint is pealing and the interior is worn. The Jewish lady used the trunk to store garden tools, but the patern looks original to me. We have no interest in refurbishing the trunk but would consider selling it to somone who could bring it back to life.

    If you or anyone you know has an interest in this trunk let me know….No doubt the Jewish young man & his family were refuges of the Nazis…my wife also bought other interesting items from the young man and believes they came from safe deposit boxes opend in1964 after owners did not show to claim the conents.

  6. Hello ,I recently found a what I think might be a 1920s cushion top steamer wardrobe trunk. I took pictures and would love to get any kind of feed back . Now the lock was been broke off but I do have it.
    Now I’m not sure on how to send the pictures to your site,hoping to hear back from you.

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