Restoration of jewelery trunk

Jewelery & Goldsmith

Jewelery is the totality of the hardware, mainly made of brass, which is found in leather goods, saddlery and malletterie.

It includes:

- Locks

- Clasps or buckles

- Handles

- Nails or rivets

- Parts or angles

- The brackets


These jewelery shops are sometimes damaged, our role is to eliminate accidents of course by restoring them their appearance and their original function.

Louis Vuitton, Goyard and Moynat had taken care of patented their models of locks, clasps ...


We only remanufactured the damaged part.


It would be faster to replace the whole by a piece "replica" generic of new artisanal manufacture as it swells on the internet.



These adaptable spare parts do not have their place on a collection trunk, no patina, worse some are more or less faithful copies, reproduced without agreement with the marks, they are not authentic and the quality is different from that original.


- In the case of a patented part, one may be faced with related problems of industrial property.


- In the case of a piece "drawing" (form and designation), one can be faced with related problems of the intellectual property.


- Sometimes the illegal use of the brand logo.


These copies are detrimental to the rating of your collection trunk.


This is where our job as a restorer becomes meaningful:


Restore is from an authentic piece damaged and complete only the deteriorated elements while preserving a maximum of original elements, without replacing the whole. Obviously it is much longer but when a restoration time does not count alone the result matters.


We also buy Louis Vuitton, Goyard, Moynat trunks "wrecks". For example, a trunk where the canvas is missing or too damaged to be restored. These trunks then end up in pieces to feed our stock.


In extreme cases where the piece is missing we can then replace it with an old piece of time, authentic of the same generation and the same model.


The guarantee to propose the most beautiful authentic restorations of luxury trunks

Subscribe L. Vuitton

Many brass or steel pieces are marked "Louis Vuitton". None of the parts we make or item of restoration carries any registration at the risk of being assimilated to counterfeit.

We recall that only the Louis Vuitton company has the right to affix its mentions.


Even if rarer it is the same for Goyard and Moynat alone they are entitled to affix their name on an object.





Beginning in 1890, the first-class trunks were secured by "extremely secure" locks, which were extremely robust and patented, as indicated on the locks themselves.


Each lock has a number corresponding to its own key. This number is unique for each trunk unless a customer wishes to open all his / her luggage with a single key.




The locks are placed separately on each luggage, mid-length, exactly under the leather strap or under the handle.


These locks protect the contents of the luggage of thieves and curious passers-by.





 Step 1: Hasp


The hasp is the top part of a lock.


This part is often broken because forced when the key is lost.


We repair them, it is the work of the goldsmith


Opposite: Rehabilitation of the auberon.


Step 2: Mechanism


The locks of the trunks that pass through our workshops are cleaned and revised.


Then we lubricate.


Unlike drying oil, and grease that clogs because it is mixed with dust, it prevents long-term operation. Graphite, for its part, lubricates the locks locally, thus guaranteeing a perfect working condition.

Step 3: Key


The oldest keys are made of steel, then they will be brass for the most by Louis Vuitton luggage.


Often lost or broken we are asked to redo them.



Rebuilding an old key for antique luggage without a key:


(1) Old original Vuitton key.


(2) Welding, to add material.


(3) Machining and finishing to give a second life.



Step 4: Cleaning and Polishing


Once the technical parts are repaired and revised, we proceed to the cleaning and polishing, aesthetic and cosmetic of the lock.

Dust cover



Some elements are missing, we then try to restore only the lost piece and not to replace the entire lock with a "standard" product of lesser quality and not genuine.


Example with this dust cover of automobile trunk, Vuitton trunks and luggage were placed behind the cars, and this small rotary valve protected the mechanism of dust.


We have carved the piece in solid brass, taking care of faithfully respecting the characteristics of the original.


After restoration the result is perfect, ready to be reassembled on the trunk.

Buckle - Clasp

The locks are framed by two matching loops, the model of which is also patented. This closure system is characteristic. The solid brass elements that compose it are the support of various trademarks involving the initials or the name of Louis Vuitton, Goyard or Moynat.


brass clasp Moynat trunk car

In order to keep the original part to a maximum, we only repair the missing part.



Example with this lever of Moynat trunk. We have welded brass and shaped this raw piece so that it regains its full utility. It is the work of the goldsmith that shapes the brass.

In some cases, the lever is totally missing:




On this trunk Louis Vuitton, A clasp lever is missing.


We go into a block of brass carving our clasp identically.


Step 1 - Tracing:


Draw 2 projections (view A and B) on our solid brass block according to the Vuitton model.

Step 2 - Sculpting:


Sculpting the massive piece in the old and the hand.


This work takes a lot of time, precision and a true know-how of sculptor on metal.



Step 3 - Adjustment & Finish:


After fitting, the part is finished ready for finishing, and always by hand, sanding, then polishing, it remains to manufacture the brass ring.


It is not uncommon to find brass or steel hardware that is corroded by rust and oxidation, some of them tinker with paint or body coating. A good miserable cache.

These accessories have a real function of reinforcement and participate in the structure of the trunk.


There is therefore no choice but to replace them. These articles do not exist in the trade to the right dimensions we have to redo them identically as much by the nature of the steel, as the thickness, the form and the finish.


Step 1: Cutting

In a sheet steel, shears the elements. The sheet is thick.


Step 2: Deburring

Deburring, and fitting.


Step 3: Chamfer

Then we make a small chamfer as originally.


Step 4: Drilling

Then drill


Step 5: Folding



Step 6: Finishing.

Finish and black lacquer


The contemporary handles are cut from cow leather left in its natural color.

The old handles are in metal painted black on the oldest models of finish called "Moorish", brass or leather.

The handle is the area of contact between the hand and the luggage, it is often the part of the trunk most exposed to effort and touch. Resistant and sensitive, its material becomes inseparable from its patina.




Example of a solid brass handle restored in our workshops.


Coming from a Louis Vuitton trunk of 1902.


Totally broken, broken fastener and missing handle.


Brass is a very delicate material to shape and weld.

Nail & Rivet


Nails and rivets are essential elements in the construction of a trunk.



A trunk is made up of several hundred nails or rivets, their location is not random. It has been studiously studied by the Vuitton house, Goyard, or Moynat.



They securely hold all the jewelery, slats and other elements to the barrel (that is to say the structure of the trunk).

A disassembled rivet can no longer be used because it becomes too short



We must therefore weld a new steel rod.



The weld must be perfect because the forces exerted during the riveting of the rivet are very important.



Our know-how of boilermaker allows us to weld the heads of nails to new rods.

Surface treatment



In case the jewelers have a surface treatment, as on some automotive trunks or wardrobe trunk interiors ...


We treat our authentic jewelry to the original identical.


This treatment is carried out in Paris by our friend and partner Bertin Aubert.

Polishing to re-shine brass

The polisher is a craft with a full, high precision, it highlights all the brass pieces by restoring them shining and fascinating glare of a brass oxidized by time, and travels.



The work of the goldsmith polisher or the art of sublimating a piece.


Ancestral processes, the meticulous gestures have not changed.





Step 1 - Body Dumping / Planing


A bumpy corner, a rugged handle, a twisted lock, it is possible to correct this thanks to our know-how and some traditional tools.

Following the planing is carried out on the outside using wooden mallets or hammers of various shapes.




Step 2 - Attack


The principle is to eliminate any presence of roughness and the oxidation layer on the brass.




Step 3 - Avivage


With medium hard pumice stone, followed by a soft pumice hardness.




Step 4 - Softening


With charcoal and steel wool, making circular gestures.




Step 5 - Pre-polished


Pre polished with water, micro grain.




Step 6 - Cleaning


Clean with soapy water to remove micro particles that may scratch the surface during polishing steps.




Step 7 - Polished


Accomplished with flax and hemp fiber and abrasive pastes.




Step 8 - Polishing


Before step behind, the first reflections begins to appear polishing to the chamois skin.




Step 9 - Brilliant


Brilliant that is also called mirror polished for these explosive reflections with silk wool.


Using a cloth soaked in extra fine diamond powder, rubbing vigorously.

Conclusion :




The conclusion: Many steps, patience and dexterity for polishing, a badly accomplished step and everything that needs to be started again.




The result: no scratch, no more trace of oxidation even in the corners, a perfect mirror.



See also our buying guide

"Polishing brass on a luxury trunk" ...

Another example of polishing done in our workshop:

Luxury trunk restoration workshops:



Laiton : Version Française