When we received this checkerboard trunk that dates back to 1898, we were happy!
It is a 1st series model: leather trim and brass finish .
Which means that it is in its most luxurious finish in coated canvas with the following features:
- Leather trim
- Brass corners
- Belt loops
- Brass handles
State of play before restoration
The model is very rare, but the problems of this trunk are multiple:
- Beech woods very damaged
- The lock was forced
- Brasses strongly oxidized.
- The poorly smelling interior
As for each of our interventions, a photographic follow-up is carried out as soon as it is declared until it is restored after restoration.
It is the guarantee of the respect of the traditions and the conservation of the inscriptions, as for example its initials FB in a big black rectangle of origin.
We use new technologies in the field of restoration to refine and gain precision, even in every nook and cranny, removing the minimum material.
Today thanks to our know-how and these advanced technologies we remove 1 to 3/100 of a millimeter of material, just the oxidation to find the golden brass.
Beyond the aesthetic side and without comparison, the use of nylon brush removes from 2 to 8/10 millimeter which is detrimental hence the conviction of this type of practice.
The lock having been forced, it is dismantled, repaired and revised.
The overhaul consists of a dismantling of all the elements, an ultrasonic cleaning, a polishing of the parts that come in friction to facilitate the movement by reducing the friction. Thus our mechanism returns to its original operating state. He can then operate with his key corresponding to the number of the lock.
And if you did not have it like this luxury trunk, you can order it at Louis Vuitton for re-manufacture.
The wooden slats of beech were parasitized , wood powder came out of the entrances of galleries dug by insects.
As always, our wish is to have a healthy trunk to guarantee a quality of restoration and conservation for future generations. In this case there is no choice but to replace these slats identically. The use of resin or other makeup is prohibited or reserved for the handyman.
By removing the woods we had confirmation of having made the best choice. Indeed the worms had attacked the entire structure that literally crumbled under our fingers.
The barrel of this trunk is solid poplar, this wood unlike beech is very rarely attacked by insects, it is spared.
After disassembling the inside and outside we spend 3 layers xylophene treatment 1 hour apart to permanently protect this trunk of pest attacks.
We use wood of the same nature and the same finish for perfect harmony.
We skate the wood so that the color is identical to the original one.Indeed with the years the wood oxidizes because of its environment, the UV, the humidity ...
After traditional nailing of the slats we rest the wheels according to the origin.
We add 4 callous feet (removable) covered with glued felts,
to protect the floors against scratches caused by the wheels and to be able to slide the trunks on a smooth floor (parquet, marble, laminate, tiles ...) (very useful if it is a coffee table) or if you stack the trunks one on the other so as not to spoil the top.
We had to remove the inside urgently to control that no insect, worms or egg, was present. Then, as previously explained, a xylophene shock treatment will protect this trunk for the coming decades.
We also had to remove mushrooms from the fabric.
Take off the inner label to re-glue it in the new box.
This old label, wider than that of subsequent generations is punches that is to say that the serial number is cut in the label and not marked.
At the back of these labels, written in chalk fat carpenter, we often find the finishes and dimensions of the trunk ordered, sometimes also the name of the customer.
In our case we can interpret this information as follows:
I: Series 1
90: Length 90 cm
Courr: Mail Template
Leather: Leather trim
We redid the whole interior in the same way.
Canvas and capiton.
Conclusion: How to judge a good restoration?
We can judge a perfect restoration to scrupulously respect the finishes, materials and design of time.
It must be irreproachable and invisible, even an informed eye must not say to itself:
"This trunk is old but this area is new and not original".
It must not distort the origin by modifying the finishes: nature of the fabric, quality of the capiton, repainting of the canvas, brushing brasses, or other customization fantasy ...
It is with great satisfaction that we can admire the fruit of our long days of work.
Sometimes we repeat 2 or 3 times the same thing until the perfect result, losing days in the smallest details that few of us will see.
Make, undo and redo, because only the result matters for now the highest level of demand that has made the reputation of our workshops in the world.
Before - after
Restauration d'une malle damier Louis Vuitton : Version Française