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

113 thoughts on “Antique Trunk Values

  1. trunk measures 34W by 20 deep by 24 tall. wood with metal hinges, brackets etc. all original.
    any idea how I might find some of the background? my understanding is it came out from Germany via Canada pre WW2 but cant verify that.
    cant figure out how to load a picture.
    thank you for your time.

  2. Hello, I would like to email someone pictures of a trunk I have to see if I can find out any info on it or how to possibly date the piece.

  3. My Grandmother gave me this trunk. She was going to toss it but I insisted that I take it. Any ideas about its age?


  4. Hello! I have a P. Becker and Co. Doll trunk. Measures around 13x26x13 when closed. Inside are 4 drawers, some small wire hangers, the hanging rod is still fully intact and so is the fabric to secure the doll. The interior is in good to excellent condition. The exterior has some rust but is still solid. Looks to be completely original. Just wondering if it has any value any worth keeping. Thank you for your time

  5. Have big old butterfield trunk want to get rid of it not looking to get rich off of it. Should i sell to restore or burn it?

    1. Are you kin to a mr. Geaorge H. Berry or LtCol O. Jay Berry. We have a Mendel Trunx trunk with those names on it

  6. We have a trunk we just got it has inside shelf and all metal outsid with wooden slatsits 3 ft lonng 20inches wide 23 inches wide no handles need to replace 1 wooden slat brokenit looks pretty old ? Can you tellme what you think

  7. I am trying to find out what era a trunk I have is from and hopefully, who made it. It’s a large metal flat top trunk, almost 36″ wide, 21″ deep and 22 1/2″ high. It’s a dark green and has one large gold stripe down the middle along with two smaller gold stripes on either side of the large one. I have found other pictures of it in blue with the gold stripes too. Has two latches on either side of the center lock. Has two handles on each end. Has a removable tray that has two sections, one smaller and one larger. Lined in paper. All corners and edges are trimmed with a gold metal. Nothing very fancy about the latches or trim. It does have two rivets spaced about 18″ apart on top and on the front. Not sure what they are for, but they are about 1/2″ tall. What little information I have seen on a different trunk, the label said “Tuffer” Luggage By Standard, Los Angeles, Ca., but I am not sure if this is original.

  8. I was given a trunk from a friend of the family. It has been painted over. I would appreciate if you could give me some advice on whether I should have it restored or if I should just keep it the way it is. I do plan to sell it. I can send you some pictures. It is from The FJ Palica Co. Makers from Racine, WIS. I have pictures of the trunk and of the patent- but I am not sure how to read it.

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