How to Determine the Value of an Antique Sea Chest

Written by shane arrington
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How to Determine the Value of an Antique Sea Chest
Large wooden trunks were used to store sailors' personal belongings while out at sea. (treasure chest image by sumos from

Sea chests have been used throughout history by sailors from all over the world to store personal items while out at sea. Designs, types of wood and quality of craftsmanship vary depending on place of origin. These chests were designed to endure harsh conditions and many still survive today. There are many ways to determine the worth of your sea chest. The Internet provides people an opportunity to access the value of their antiques from home, but taking your sea chest to a professional appraiser will give you the most accurate value.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Conduct an in-depth inspection of your sea chest. Look for stamps and other identifying markers. If possible, determine what type of wood was used, and the style of the metal work.

  2. 2

    Use the Internet to research your findings. There are many websites dedicated to antique sea chests. You can also contact some antique stores through their websites. Some will give you a quick online appraisal to determine if it's worth coming to see them in person.

  3. 3

    Travel to the nearest antique store that specialises in chests and trunks and have them appraise your sea chest. It may be a good idea to get multiple appraisals for your sea chest if your research indicates it may be valuable.

Tips and warnings

  • Even if you find a sea chest that seems exactly like yours, it is still best to see an appraiser in person to best determine the worth of your sea chest.

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