It was in 1875 that Louis Vuitton imagined this cupboard trunk designed to be open to the vertical.
Equipped with a wardrobe on one side and drawers on the other.
This revolutionary trunk avoids the travelers having to unpack their clothes. Simply put the trunk up and open it.
Two hundred artisans work in these workshops and carry out 450 special orders each year.
It takes 150 hours of work to make the mythical Wardrobe. A work of goldsmith who justifies the price of this object cult and timeless.
It is an extremely heavy restoration that we will present below. Like an old luxury car.
We all remember the sale Baillon, Arcturial of February 2015
Where these cars "wreck" have crossed highs.
These cars, after several thousand hours of work, will recover their letters of nobility.
Just like our Louis Vuitton trunk.
Our place in the world of restoration is no longer to be demonstrated, as we have proved ourselves.
Much copied, never equaled.
We will show you this.
We received this trunk in a state of disrepair rare. You have to be crazy to embark on a restoration of this magnitude.
This trunk from the United Kingdom has been affected by weather and humidity.
Was wooden broken trunk
What happened to him to get there? No one will answer.
There was so much to do that we did not even know where to start:
- The rotten wood
- End-of-life structure
- The damaged web
- Destroyed interior
- Worn leather handles
Everything remained to re-build
Our specifications were:
Restore this trunk identically as it came out of factory 89 years ago, in 1927, using the same techniques of manufacture and materials of the time.
But we wanted this trunk to be used on a daily basis as a trunk-storage cabinet and that it could benefit from a second life instead of ending its life in a showcase.
The challenge was launched.
Thanks to the lock number and the archives of the Louis Vuitton heritage department we were able to date this trunk of 1927.
The plywood is a succession of thin sheets of wood, called "veneer", glued to each other where the direction of the thread of the wood is crossing. It makes it possible to obtain a lightweight, lightweight, flexible and extremely strong board, such as board skate boards, for example, which are made of plywood
Although the plywood was known from ancient Egypt, its industrial application and commercialization did not take off in France until 1860 thanks to better adhesives.
However, as evidenced by our 1927 trunk, the glues used at that time are based on water and rabbit skins or fish, reversible glues that can not withstand moisture.
In our case, the thin layers of wood have become separated from each other forming blistering on the surface of the canvas. This detachment makes the structure fragile.
The only solution is to replace the poplar wood structure and make it to the exact same size, to the nearest millimeter.
The assembly is traditional: by nailing and strong canvas. No screws or modern glue.
But to replace the structure of this trunk imposes an integral dismantling: it is a Pharaonic work.
More than 1,600 spikes and nails disassembled.
Take off the canvas, disassemble lozines, woods, jewelery.
The slats in beech, as for them, rotted. It was not possible to reuse them.
The use of wooden paw and questionable collage is not a suitable answer for a collection trunk restoration. We leave these tricks to handymen.
The objective is to clean up the trunk to enable it to live another 100 years.
We have made beech wood slats of the same section and machining as the original one.
A patina of which we religiously retain the recipe was designed to be in harmony and not denote with the age of our Louis Vuitton trunk.
The canvas is cleaned, restored and then glued to the back.
Restored canvas ready to be glued
The restoration consists of cleaning the canvas. No paint is applied to it.
It is not a matter of painting the canvas, we wish it to remain as a collection trunk.
Lozine is used to protect the banks. It is based on vulcanized fibers. It does not stain unlike leather and it is very resistant.
Two lengths were missing on our trunk.
Our desire and passion for putting this identical trunk back at the origin pushed us to surpass ourselves.
After several months of research and testing, we were able to manufacture lozine identical to the original one.
Polishing and cleaning brass
Custom made cowhide leather handles.
Couture saddlery, handmade.
On most trunks, the interior represents only 20% of the value of the trunk because it has no interest because the trunk is always closed.
Only wardrobe trunks, secretary trunks and shoe trunks are as interesting from the inside as from the outside because they are intended to remain open.
Except that our trunk was completely empty! Everything had to be built.
Manufacture of locker and drawers in poplar, traditional assembly.
The work of carpenter and cabinetmaker
Strong canvas is glued to reinforce the wood panels and guarantee maximum hold.
Louis Vuitton develops this technique very rapidly, drawing on his trade as a packer liner, in order to reinforce the assemblies of his trunks which allow to have a light structure made of panels of very fine wood.
Taken from are trade of luthier packer.
We made an orange coated canvas to cover our locker and drawers.
This canvas is sheathed with wood
One can see the location of the strong canvas under the coated canvas as well as at the origin.
The work of the winch
Manufacture and installation of zippers in very fine cowhide leather.
Labeling and finishing of the drawers by hand.
The work of the leather worker.
No marking L. Vuitton will be registered at the risk of being assimilated to counterfeiting.
Our work is that of the restoration in the rules of the art.
We did re-nickel-plated the Louis Vuitton wardrobe and manufactured the shoe box "shoes case"
Manufacturing at the Vuitton factory in Asnières requires 160 hours of work for a new wardrobe trunk. It took us 210h to rebuild this trunk.
This difference is explained by the time of dismantling of the trunk, the restoration of the canvas and the manufacture of certain custom pieces unlike Louis Vuitton who manufactures them and assembles them in his workshops.
It is an immense satisfaction and a pride to see the result of this trunk as resurrected after these months of restoration.
We hope you enjoyed this adventure as much as we did with this article.