Treasured Chests Antique Trunk Restoration, Sales & Research

SUMMER SALE! EVERYTHING in the our Etsy shop is 50% off. Limited time only.

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.)

Antique 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.

 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). It has found a new life in the Broadway Production “Country Girl” starring Morgan Freeman.


1. Open wardrobe section of trunk. Antique Wardrobe Trunk
2. Slide out support rods that hold hangers. Antique Wardrobe Trunk
3. Remove long vertical hanger. Antique Wardrobe Trunk
4. Insert bottom of hanger into garment. Antique Wardrobe Trunk
5. Slide hanger completely down into garment. Antique Wardrobe Trunk
6. Push top sides of garment toward center,

between notches of hanger.

Antique Wardrobe Trunk
7. Replace hanger onto support rod. Antique Wardrobe Trunk
8. Push support rods back into place. Antique Wardrobe Trunk
9. Close wardrobe section. Antique Wardrobe 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 click here to order it from our Etsy shop before someone else snatches it up. We’ll get it packed and on its way to you.

Price: Go to our shop on EtsyFREE SHIPPING!

Antique Wardrobe Doll Trunk; Open
Antique Wardrobe Doll Trunk; Top
Antique Wardrobe Doll Trunk; Front
Antique Wardrobe Doll Trunk; Back
Antique Wardrobe Doll Trunk; Left Side
Antique Wardrobe Doll Trunk; Right Side
Antique Wardrobe Doll Trunk

“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 in our Etsy shop. (SOLD)

Antique Generic Wardrobe Trunk; Open
Antique Generic Wardrobe Trunk; Back
Antique Generic Wardrobe Trunk; Wardrobe Section
Antique Generic Wardrobe Trunk; Drawer Section
Antique Generic Wardrobe Trunk; Back
Antique Generic Wardrobe Trunk; Previous Owner

LOTS MORE history of antique trunks on our

Encyclopedia of Antique Trunks CD/Kindle eBook
LOTS MORE history of antique trunks on our Encyclopedia of Antique Trunks CD/Kindle eBook

Please click for details

Positive SSL To verify: Place your mouse pointer in the box above.