To appraise the value of genuine antique trunks, first research antique trunks and the physical characteristics that set them apart from newer trunks, and find a reference book that focuses on antique trunks. Inspect a trunk to get an idea of the materials used and its overall condition. Look for a manufacturer's label or identifying mark.Continue Reading
If a trunk is made of solid wood, such as pine, and has real leather straps or high-grade metal clasps, it is likely a more valuable object. Trunks made of plywood, imitation leather or low-grade metal are not likely to be worth more than a few dollars. If the materials, clasps, straps and compartment are in good condition, this adds to the value of the piece. A fully fitted trunk liner with drawers and a hanging bar increases the value. Check for signs of restoration, as many restored trunks are more valuable if the restoration was done correctly.
Research the physical characteristics of trunk labels, such as the leather-covered Crouch and Fitzgerald trunks. Other label names include Jenny Lind or Louis Vuitton. These are rare finds, especially if they are in good condition, and they are highly collectible. Check with antique guides to confirm a trunk's value.Learn more about Antiques