Share your favorites on Show & Tell

Trunk Question: I'm Confused!

In Furniture > Trunks > Show & Tell.
trunkman's loves1016 of 4162Steamer trunk - Flaxite foundation (W.E.R.)Totally circular
Love it
Like it

jscott0363jscott0363 loves this.
Rick55Rick55 loves this.
charmsomeonecharmsomeone loves this.
SEAN68SEAN68 loves this.
trunkmantrunkman loves this.
mikelv85mikelv85 loves this.
antiqueroseantiquerose loves this.
officialfuelofficialfuel loves this.
fortapachefortapache loves this.
See 7 more
Add to collection

    Please create an account, or Log in here

    If you don't have an account, create one here.

    Create a Show & TellReport as inappropriate

    Posted 5 years ago

    (48 items)

    Ok, as mentioned on here to a few folks I thought as a project through the winter I might like to have a go at restoring an old steamer trunk. Now, here is where it gets tricky. When you put Steamer Trunk into google, you get a picture of every trunk known to man. Likewise Ebay. Now I'm guessing the reason for this is that people are fully aware that deco is 'cool', and for their items to be associated with this era is a good selling point, and the age of relatively affordable steam travel is very much of the deco period. So, just about every trunk has the work 'Steamer' in there somewhere. Now this causes a problem for someone naïve like me as I don't actually know what a proper authentic steamer trunk looks like, as I have no one to show me. The three pictures above are all listed under Steamer Trunk, but which one is the real thing? My thoughts are that picture one is a suitcase, and not a trunk at all. Picture 3 I think is a trunk/chest, but not a steamer as its too tall and bulky. My thoughts were running to picture 2.

    Any trunk type people who can tell me I would be very grateful!

    Thank you.

    See all
    Rare Vintage Louis Vuitton Custom Clear Acrylic LV Monogram Mot Suitcase Trunk
    Rare Vintage Louis Vuitton Custom C...
    Antique Trunk Hardware-Leather Handles,Ends and Nails for Trunks & Chests-New--U
    Antique Trunk Hardware-Leather Hand...
    1931 Lane Altavista Cedar Chest Aroma Tite Trunk Blanket Chest ornate carvings
    1931 Lane Altavista Cedar Chest Aro...
    Antique Trunk Restoration Book Chest Steamer Vintage New Info Refinish RESTORE
    Antique Trunk Restoration Book Ches...
    Rare Vintage Louis Vuitton Custom Clear Acrylic LV Monogram Mot Suitcase Trunk
    Rare Vintage Louis Vuitton Custom C...
    See all


    1. fortapache fortapache, 5 years ago
      I am voting for #3 as the basic shape although it doesn't need to be a camelback.
      They are probably all steamer trunks but #3 is what I think of as a steamer trunk.
      The real trunk experts should be here soon.
    2. antiquerose antiquerose, 5 years ago
      Just saying your first pic kinda looks a bit like mine posted.

      ~ I think in certain area of the world they are referred to differently. To me a trunk is a Trunk.....we call those streamer trunks. I am no experts on them at all, so see what the Experts say. ~ Great Question !!!
    3. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
      In answer to your question, the first and second trunks pictured would be "steamer trunks" -- so named due to their size -- half sized trunks that could be brought into your cabin on an ocean going vessel. (low enough to fit under your bunk if you needed to) The third trunk would be called a cross slat trunk -- which would be placed in the hold of a ship during voyage. Sometimes there are stickers on these that have travelled stating "Not wanted" -- referring to not wanting your steamer trunk to go to your cabin but put in the hold instead. Of course the general public groups all forms of trunks into the "steamer trunk" category -- so if you think of "Urban Dictionary" meaning seems that is the direction the term is going. Hope this helps a bit...
    4. Hamish Hamish, 5 years ago
      That helps more than a bit. Thank you very much for the information, so much knowledge between everyone here, its a great place to be!

      I shall have a look around to see what type of trunk I will start with. I know you mentioned before about avoiding something like the first picture or leather covered for my first attempt, so I will look to see what is relatively easy. My wife does vintage fairs so perhaps if I do a good enough job she can sell it on, so maybe smaller as opposed to big.

      Thanks again everyone, I appreciate it.
    5. FatBoy64, 5 years ago
      Hamish, check out Craigslist when you are ready to buy in the meantime look around and see what's out there and what trips your trigger, you're going to want to display it so pick up something that will look good at the end of the couch or wherever. Here are some links that a couple of the people on here have that have a lot of info on them.

      TrunkerMarvin on here has this site: has this site:

      Ths bunch has a lot of info as well and a bit of parts and such too:

      Look around and you'll find plenty of info out there. Have fun.
    6. Hamish Hamish, 5 years ago
      Thank you, I really appreciate the info.
    7. jscott0363 jscott0363, 5 years ago
      Hamish, they all look great to me. The first trunk, which would be a European trunk, is one of my favorite types of trunks.

    Want to post a comment?

    Create an account or login in order to post a comment.