Every old attic holds its fair share of forgotten suitcases and trunks full of memories.  As any visitor to the big showground antiques fairs will quickly find, vintage luggage – dusted down and polished up – is in itself a saleable commodity. But sometimes the luggage is worth a lot more than the contents and this is especially true when it can be identified as the product of the most famous maker of luxury travel requisites – Louis Vuitton.

The ultimate in Louis Vuitton luggage, a near pair of trunk/desks from the age of the ocean liner which have sold for £26,000.

The tell-tale clue is the the VL trade mark, surrounded by little flower motifs,  which has featured on the firm’s  items from the golden age of steamer voyages to the present day. Equally obvious is the quality of workmanship, elegant yet strongly reinforced with wood and brass to withstand the rigours of a long ocean voyage or  rail journey. And once the lid has been lifted the quality and the intricacy of the internal fittings is often a delight to behold.

A supreme example of LV artistry was to be found in the sale held by Mallams auctioneers in Abingdon in Oxfordshire last month, where they had not one, but two near identical examples of the ‘malle armoire-secretaire’.  These were 3ft (90cm) high steamer trunks which open to reveal an array of lidded compartments and drawers, as well as a basket and a writing slope for use on the voyage.Such treasures were not going to go unnoticed and on sale day bidders on the telepone and the interent pushed the pair all the way to £26,000.

Junk in the attic? Not if you have a Louis Vuitton trunk.


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