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.
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.
Rarity and Design of Your Trunk
The 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.
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.
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
(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.