Treasured Chests, Antique Trunk & Chest Restorations, Sales & Research Since 1972

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wardrobe Trunks

Please note that most of the trunks below are EXAMPLES, NOT FOR SALE. (There may be well-marked exceptions that are for sale.)

Traveling Wardrobe Trunk
Known as Wardrobe Trunks or Traveling Wardrobes, these trunks are some of the largest and heaviest ever made and are designed to stand on end for packing or open use. One half of the trunk, usually the right half, is filled with drawers while the other half has clothes hangers, usually a shoe box, and sometimes an ironing board and even a flat iron. Pity the people who had to move these monsters around, most are heavy even when empty! Wardrobe trunks have become more and more popular just in the last few years. Many are restored and then used in bedrooms of small apartments as a  combination chest of drawers and closet. Most of them were made in the 1920s and 1930s with some going back nearer the turn of the century. Note how the upper part of the left half of the one above opens up to allow better access to the hangers. The two chrome rods in the same area telescope out to give the hangers more room when the trunk is open.

Boat Anchor Hangers in Wardrobe Trunks

How to Use Those Boat Anchor Coat Hangers

We've had email asking how to use the strange boat anchor-looking hangers in wardrobe trunks. At first they appear to be upside down when compared to modern coat hangers. The secret is to first remove the hanger, place the garment on it and then replace both in the trunk. If your trunk has a wardrobe section with a top that opens then you may want to open it first, giving you even easier access to the hangers. The reason for the strange shape of the hangers is to press and hold longer garments in place in transit. After the trunk is packed then a presser bar is usually inserted in front of the hangers and garments, pushed back to compress the garments, and latched in place. This holds the garments flat and tightly in place so they won't be "mussed" as many early ads said. At least one wardrobe trunk maker called these hangers "princess" hangers and were advertised for both men and women's garments.

The wardrobe trunk used in this demo is (Sold) FOR SALE! (Sold) as-is. It has found a new life in the Broadway Production "Country Girl" starring Morgan Freeman.

Note: We have found another nice wardrobe trunk to replace this one. Photos are below the demo.

1. Open wardrobe section of trunk. Wardrobe Trunk Used in 'Country Girl', starring Morgan Freeman
2. Slide out support rods that hold hangers. Pull out Support Rods
3. Remove long vertical hanger. Remove Hanger
4. Insert bottom of hanger into garment. Insert Hanger Bottom into Garment
5. Slide hanger completely down into garment. Fully Insert Hanger
6. Push top sides of garment toward center,
 between notches of hanger.
Gather Garment Top Between Hanger Notches
7. Replace hanger onto support rod. Replace Hanger
8. Push support rods back into place. Replace Support Rods
9. Close wardrobe section. Close Wardrobe

Wardrobe Doll Trunk

Wardrobe Doll Trunk

Our latest wardrobe find. At first we weren't sure if this was a small wardrobe trunk or a large doll wardrobe trunk then we saw the wardrobe section. The size of it and the three hangers indicate this is a doll trunk. Doll trunks were made for little girls to carry the clothes for their dolls. They were usually made to be very lightweight so many have not survived. Fewer wardrobe doll trunks were made than other styles which makes this one quite rare. Made of thicker pine this one is much stronger. It's all original; we've only cleaned and touched it up in places so it's otherwise how we found it. We've added an antique doll dress from our own collection to complete the trunk. The original lock still works and an antique key is provided. We found it in Jonesville, NC on one of our local trunk-hunting outings. It measures 25" wide x 7" deep x 21" tall opened and 11" x 12" x 21" closed. It weighs 8 lbs. This trunk dates back to the 1930s & is FOR SALE . If you like it as well as everyone around here then call us toll-free 1-877-653-8786 or email us at TreasuredChests@oldtrunks.com before someone else snatches it up. We'll get it packed and on its way to you.

Please note the following trunk number: Trunk # SP1113 (Wardrobe Doll Trunk) $299.

Antique Wardrobe Doll Trunk from 1930s, Open

Antique Wardrobe Doll Trunk from 1930s, Closed/Front

Antique Wardrobe Doll Trunk from 1930s, Closed/Back

Antique Wardrobe Doll Trunk from 1930s, Left Side

Antique Wardrobe Doll Trunk from 1930s, Right Side

Big Brudder Wardrobe Trunk not Included
("Big Brudder" not included)

Generic 1930s Wardrobe Trunk

Thousands, hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of trunks, especially wardrobe trunks were made with no identification on them. By the time wardrobe trunks came along trunk manufacturing was mass. Many makers manufactured them for big retail giants such as Montgomery Ward, Sears-Roebuck and others. Some of these stores added their own name, most did not. The peak of their production was the 1930s. Built extremely tough, many have survived to this day. Although we don't know the maker we do know the name of a previous owner of this one since it's stenciled on one end, along with her town, Waynesboro, VA. (For her privacy only the buyer will see her last name.) We found this one recently and decided to fetch it home. We touched it up just enough to make it safe and sanitary and you can do any restoration you want, or leave it as it is. It's in quite good shape in spite of the locking part of the hasp being gone and the drawer fronts a bit faded. It measures 22" x 24" x 41" closed and 44" x 12" x 41" open. It weighs 85 lbs. We found it in Pilot Mountain, NC on one of our local trunk hunts. This trunk dates back to the 1930s & is FOR SALE . $499 as-is. Trunk # SR0906.

1930s Wardrobe Trunk, Front

1930s Wardrobe Trunk, Back Open

1930s Wardrobe Trunk, Wardrobe Section  1930s Wardrobe Trunk, Drawer Section  1930s Wardrobe Trunk, Back 1930s Wardrobe Trunk, Previous Owner

Totty Wardrobe Trunk

Totty Wardrobe Trunk

Totty wardrobe trunk. Made in Petersburg, VA sometime in the 1930s. The original shoebox, hangers, presser bar and locking bar for the drawers are still there and in excellent condition. We've carefully cleaned it inside and out. We've left just enough wear to show its age. It measures 23" x 23" x 43" when closed and 44" x 13" x 43" opened. It weighs 85 lbs. We found it in Advance, NC on one of our local trunk-hunting excursions. This trunk dates back to the 1930s. (Sold to a Treasured Customer in VA)

Vintage Wardrobe Trunk, Totty Brand from 1930s, Front

Vintage Wardrobe Trunk, Totty Brand from 1930s, Wardrobe Section       Vintage Wardrobe Trunk, Totty Brand from 1930s, Drawer Section

Vintage Wardrobe Trunk, Totty Brand from 1930s, Original Maker's Label

Vintage Wardrobe Trunk, Totty Brand from 1930s, Left Side        Vintage Wardrobe Trunk, Totty Brand from 1930s, Right Side

Vintage Wardrobe Trunk, Totty Brand from 1930s, Back

Mini Wardrobe Trunk

Mini-Wardrobe Trunk

When aircraft travel started becoming available and affordable by the public then trunk makers began making wardrobe trunks smaller and lighter. Many were made in the fashion of the Wheary Wardrolette shown elsewhere on this page. Some makers just down-sized the trunk and kept the same basic look, only smaller and lighter. Here is a fine, generic example of such a mini-wardrobe. Who made it and where we may never know since there is no identification on it but it's probably from the late 1920s or 1930s and could have ridden aboard a Ford Tri-Motor, a DC-3 or other airliner. It's about 60% the size of a full-sized wardrobe trunk but will hold enough clothes for several days. The lock still works and a key is provided. It's all original except for a new leather handle and we repainted the outside. The inside lining is a bit faded in places but has been thoroughly cleaned so you can safely and comfortably use it. All the hangers are there along with the presser bar. We found it in Germanton, NC on one of our local trunk hunts. It measures 34" wide x 7" deep x 31" tall opened and 17" x 12" x 31" closed. It weighs 35 lbs. (Sold to a Treasured Customer in MN)

Antique Mini Wardrobe Trunk for Airliner, Front Open

Antique Mini Wardrobe Trunk for Airliner, Size Compared to Full
("Big Brudder" not included)

Antique Mini Wardrobe Trunk for Airliner, Front Closed

Antique Mini Wardrobe Trunk for Airliner, Back

Antique Mini Wardrobe Trunk for Airliner, Left Side

Antique Mini Wardrobe Trunk for Airliner, Right Side

Antique Mini Wardrobe Trunk for Airliner, Original Lining

   MendelTrunx Wardrobe Trunk

One of our wardrobe finds. An all-original MendelTrunx with the wardrobe on the right side. It has a working heavy cast lock with key and many other features. This trunk traveled on BOTH the original Cunard White Star's Queen Mary AND Queen Elizabeth and we've left the labels to prove it. In the photos, we've blotted out the original owner's name for the family's privacy but the labels themselves are intact and will be revealed to the buyer. The original shoebox, hangers, presser bar and locking bar for the drawers are still there and in excellent condition. The locking bar is behind the drawers and is actuated from the top of the drawer section by a separate lock. This lock prevents the drawers being opened in transit. This trunk was Sold to a Treasured Customer in CA. We've carefully cleaned it inside and out. We've left just enough wear to show its age.

MendelTrunx Antique Wardrobe Trunk, Traveled on BOTH Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth, Open

MendelTrunx Antique Wardrobe Trunk, Traveled on BOTH Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth, Wardrobe Open

MendelTrunx Antique Wardrobe Trunk, Traveled on BOTH Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth, Front Closed

MendelTrunx Antique Wardrobe Trunk, Traveled on BOTH Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth, Back Closed

MendelTrunx Antique Wardrobe Trunk, Traveled on BOTH Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth, Left Side Closed MendelTrunx Antique Wardrobe Trunk, Traveled on BOTH Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth, Right Side Closed

MendelTrunx Antique Wardrobe Trunk, Traveled on BOTH Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth, Original Working Lock & Key

MendelTrunx Antique Wardrobe Trunk, Traveled on BOTH Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth, Drawer Pull

MendelTrunx Antique Wardrobe Trunk, Traveled on BOTH Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth Label

MendelTrunx Antique Wardrobe Trunk, Traveled on BOTH Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth, Cunard White Star Label

MendelTrunx Antique Wardrobe Trunk, Traveled on BOTH Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary Label

MendelTrunx Antique Wardrobe Trunk, Traveled on BOTH Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth, Cunard White Star Label

MendelTrunx Antique Wardrobe Trunk, Traveled on BOTH Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth, MendelTrunx Label

MendelTrunx Antique Wardrobe Trunk, Traveled on BOTH Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth, MendelTrunx Label

MendelTrunx Antique Wardrobe Trunk, Traveled on BOTH Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth, British Railways Label

MendelTrunx Antique Wardrobe Trunk, Traveled on BOTH Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth, British Railways Label

Breakless Antique Wardrobe Trunk

Another of our wardrobe trunk finds. This trunk was made by the Breakless Company in the 1930s. It has two original working locks with keys, original maker's label, shoebox, hangers, presser bar and locking bar for the drawers. The locking bar is mounted behind the drawers and is accessed by removing the top drawer. When the bar is swung to the locked position it prevents all the drawers except the upper one from being removed. An extra lock prevents the upper drawer from being removed. This trunk was Sold to a Treasured Customer in CA. We've carefully cleaned it inside and out and polished some of the chrome trim, otherwise it's totally original (We even left the shipping labels which are dated 1937).

Breakless Wardrobe Trunk, All Original, From 1930s, Wardrobe Open

Breakless Wardrobe Trunk, All Original, From 1930s, Wardrobe Privacy Cover

Breakless Wardrobe Trunk, All Original, From 1930s, Front Closed

Breakless Wardrobe Trunk, All Original, From 1930s, Left Side Closed

Breakless Wardrobe Trunk, All Original, From 1930s, Back Closed

Breakless Wardrobe Trunk, All Original, From 1930s, Right Side Closed

Breakless Wardrobe Trunk, All Original, From 1930s, Drawer Front

Breakless Wardrobe Trunk, All Original, From 1930s, Original Label

Breakless Wardrobe Trunk, All Original, From 1930s, Shipping Label

Breakless Wardrobe Trunk, All Original, From 1930s, Original Working Outside Lock W/Original Key

Breakless Wardrobe Trunk, All Original, From 1930s, Original Working Inside Lock W/Antique Key

Breakless Wardrobe Trunk, All Original, From 1930s, Chrome Drawer Pull

Hartmann Gibraltarized Antique Wardrobe Trunk

Another fantastic antique wardrobe find! Just when we thought we would never find another one, we came across this wonderful Hartmann Gibraltarized wardrobe trunk from the 1930s. This one has some really nice and interesting features. The original working lock comes complete with its original key. The lock is designed to secure the trunk very well while in transit or stationary. The lock actually consists of two halves. The upper half operates in the usual fashion but also swivels as shown in the photos below. When it is swiveled the bottom half releases and allows the trunk to be opened. This keeps the trunk locked securely on both ends and adds strength to the body. (The two lock halves are connected internally by a stainless steel rod.) By the time this one was made Hartmann started adding a little more color to their trunks so this one is beige and brown with a small stripe on the outside instead of the plain black used so much by other makers. The drawers are all intact, nice and clean and include tie-down ribbons. The wardrobe side contains not only the usual wooden hangers and presser bar but two folding hangers. Thankfully these are in excellent condition since many did not survive and are very hard to find. The bottom of the wardrobe is finished off with a shoe section and a privacy/dust curtain that snaps at the bottom. This trunk was Sold to a Treasured Customer in LA. BTW, we found it on one of our local trunk hunts in King, NC.

Wonderful Antique Hartmann Gibraltarized Wardrobe Trunk from 1930s, Front Open

Wonderful Antique Hartmann Gibraltarized Wardrobe Trunk from 1930s, Wardrobe Open

Wonderful Antique Hartmann Gibraltarized Wardrobe Trunk from 1930s

Wonderful Antique Hartmann Gibraltarized Wardrobe Trunk from 1930s

Wonderful Antique Hartmann Gibraltarized Wardrobe Trunk from 1930s

Wonderful Antique Hartmann Gibraltarized Wardrobe Trunk from 1930s

Wonderful Antique Hartmann Gibraltarized Wardrobe Trunk from 1930s

Wonderful Antique Hartmann Gibraltarized Wardrobe Trunk from 1930s

Wonderful Antique Hartmann Gibraltarized Wardrobe Trunk from 1930s

Wonderful Antique Hartmann Gibraltarized Wardrobe Trunk from 1930s

Wonderful Antique Hartmann Gibraltarized Wardrobe Trunk from 1930s Wonderful Antique Hartmann Gibraltarized Wardrobe Trunk from 1930s, Original Hartmann Key

Wonderful Antique Hartmann Gibraltarized Wardrobe Trunk from 1930s

Front Closed/Locked

Front Unlocked, Lock Partially Pivoted

Front Unlocked, Lock Fully Pivoted

Top and Bottom Halves of Lock

Wonderful Antique Hartmann Gibraltarized Wardrobe Trunk from 1930s

Wonderful Antique Hartmann Gibraltarized Wardrobe Trunk from 1930s

Wonderful Antique Hartmann Gibraltarized Wardrobe Trunk from 1930s

Wonderful Antique Hartmann Gibraltarized Wardrobe Trunk from 1930s

Gibraltarized Label

Hartmann Label

Rare Folding Hangers

Folding Hangers Unfolded

Wonderful Antique Hartmann Gibraltarized Wardrobe Trunk from 1930s

Wonderful Antique Hartmann Gibraltarized Wardrobe Trunk from 1930s

Drawer Interior W/Tie-Downs

Top of Trunk W/Previous Owner's Name
(Revealed Only to the Buyer)

LOTS MORE about wardrobe trunks on our

Encyclopedia of Antique Trunks CD

Much More About Antique Wardrobe Trunks on our CD
Please click for details.

Much More About Antique Wardrobe Trunks on our CD: Encyclopedia of Antique Trunks

 

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