Louis Vuitton mahogany trunk restoration

History : Toolbox, step LV

Catalog Louis Vuitton 1900 car mahogany tool box



Appearing in the Louis Vuitton catalog in the 1900s

This box was fixed to the market part of the car.


At the time when the toolbox was an indispensable tool on the first motorized vehicles

Louis Vuitton handbag trunk old car



These toolboxes include keys for disassembling the wheels, the crank to start, and the essential for quick troubleshooting.


This toolbox arrived in rather bad condition.


The list of damage was long:


- Large stripes


- Damaged varnish


- Stained wood


- Various cracks


- Interior painted black and lots of engine oil (sludge)


- Broken lock


- Oxidized brass


It was a real pleasure working on this box.


Indeed it is the only ancient work Louis Vuitton that is not covered with canvas.


Entirely of solid wood noble.


Species: Mahogany

It is a "precious" wood with very fine grain, it resists termites.


Color "brown / red", it is appreciated and used in sculpture and in the manufacture of furniture, often in simple veneer, given its value.


This box is made of solid wood.

It is the only valuable wooden object of the Louis Vuitton house.


The trunks were made of poplar wood.

Assembly wood traditional ebenisterie


The choice of wood is very interesting but also the construction.

Without nails or glue.


Traditional Joinery / Cabinetmaking.


A dovetail joint also called swallowtail, or eagle tail for their shapes.


This assembly with extraordinary mechanical properties, acts as a key of blocking. Its use dates back to ancient Egypt.


Today still used by Luthiers, Naval Carpenters and Cabinetmaker of art.

Brass head screw split trunk vuitton


Step 1: Disassembly


Complete removal of polishing parts and wood.

Luxurious wood mahogany box

Step 2: Scraping / sanding


The purpose of the operation is to put the wood "bare" by successively removing layers of varnish, paint, dirt and scratches.


Once the holy wood uncovered remains to prepare the surface before varnishing it.

Lacquer varnish on wood mahogany vuitton

Step 3: Buffer varnish


Given the time of this object, we opted for a traditional varnish with shellac, a natural product that is no longer used today except in the restoration of antique furniture and ancient musical instruments.



Work very long. It is made in 8 to 10 very fine layers successive then polished.





The work of the cabinetmaker.

Polishing brass luggage vuitton

Step 5: Brass restoration


Restoration of jewelery brass.


On this toolbox, several accidents of course.


A hole in the brass stem, the lock broken. We repaired them and polished the brass parts.

Dismantling of a tool box after repair

Step 6: Reassembling the box



Once all the pieces have been restored, all you have to do is to climb up carefully.


Step 7: Riveting


A part of the hardware is fixed by brass head screws split.



The other part like the lock or the clasp are riveted.

Louis vuitton lock riveting



The tools and gestures have not changed.

titivation trunk louis vuitton

Step 8: titivation



We clean everything, we check that everything is perfect and we finish the last adjustments.

Solid Mahogany box Louis Vuitton trunk car old

After restoration :