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Antiques Considered - June 25, 2014

This diminutive humpback trunk belongs to a collector from Middlesex County. He has an extensive collection of various trunks, most of which are in good original condition. The leather handles are missing, and it appears never to have had an interior tray. It is 16 inches wide, 12 inches high, and 10 inches deep. The finish is good, but the lock is missing. The paper lining on the inside is in excellent condition.

This piece is a genuine reflection of Americana. Often we find similar trunks with missing handles and locks, which can be replaced inexpensively. The overall condition of the surface is excellent, with the right amount of wear from over a century of use. The survival of the original interior paper lining is a decided plus.

As far as trunks go, humpback ones are the Cadillacs of the genre, whether speaking of large steamer versions or small ones such as this example. This one is worth $75.  Restored, its value should be well over $100. The old adage that small is better is applicable here. Good diminutive trunks sell more readily than large steamer ones, in part because they can be used to fit in to room settings more easily.

Replacement leather handles are not difficult to locate, nor is a good lock, both of which can be found online.  This piece is a child’s doll trunk, intended to hold the doll’s clothing.  It would be a popular item at an auction or estate sale, and in the former venue might go much higher in strong bidding.

Henry Lane Hull and his wife Lisa operate Commonwealth Antiques and Appraisals, Inc. at 5150 Jessie duPont Hwy. in Wicomico Church, VA.  Write to him at P. O. Box 35, Wicomico Church, VA 22579 or e-mail questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Happy Antiquing!

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