Retrospective of old curved trunks, wooden chests and chests


ancient  trunk old wood lv

To understand the history of luxury trunks Vuitton , Goyard , Moynat from the end of the 19 th century, we must understand the history of the old chests that led the man to have to create these objects of refinement.


The history of the chests goes back to the beginning of the history of the humanity on the 7 continents, it is the first piece of furniture made by the man.

Definition: Chest / Chest

Furniture to store his belongings. Cashier-shaped opening by lifting the lid.

It may have handles on the side, a latch or a lock but it is not an obligation.

Manufactured often in solid wood (oak, walnut, or other local wood).

Although it can be moved it is not intended to travel , it is not its primary function.

ancient Egypt

ancient Egypt trunk old tutankhamun

On November 4, 1922, the British archaeologist Howard Carter makes an extraordinary discovery in the Valley of the Kings:

the tomb of Tutankhamun .

batch of vaults with curved, flat and pyramidal top will be discovered.


Photo taken gold of the opening

of the tomb of Tutankhamun

November 1922

ancient Egypt trunk old tutankhamun

How not to see a similarity

with a modern trunk Louis Vuitton edge leather or lozine.



Around 1327 BC

Treasure chest Tutankhamun

ivory wood silver and gold

ancient Egypt trunk old

Around 1327 BC

Funeral furniture chest in painted wood depicting Pharaoh's victories over the enemies of Egypt - Tutankhamun

61cm x 43cm x 44 cm.

Safe Roman era

Safe Roman era

Iron and bronze chest where were preserved family objects of great value. This chest was usually in the atrium. It was a way to show the wealth of the family that owning such a chest.


Around 100 BC


Wood covered with iron and bronze

89 x 106 x 60 cm

Middle age chest

Middle age chest Saint Louis Vuitton


Around 1236

Chest of Saint Louis

Medieval period

champleve enamel

Louvre Museum Paris

Middle age chest wood and metal old France

During the Middle Ages , it was necessary to move frequently in emergency for political or economic reasons and the trunk offered the advantage of containing many objects : removable beds, draperies, tapestries, clothes, precious objects.


In addition to storage, this type of furniture had several other functions : one could sit there, sleep or eat there. The chest is the oldest "multifunctional" furniture, from which cabinets will derive.

Middle age chest wood and metal old France

The assembly of oak planks 6 cm thick was reinforced by the wrought iron hinges.


The feet allow to isolate the furniture from the ground.

Around 1300

Hinge chest

Oak and wrought iron

Lock in the center missing

89 cm x 165 cm x 79 cm

Museum of Decorative Arts Paris

Safe curved lid

Around 1480

Safe curved lid

Wood, leather, iron, paint

Dimensions 54 x 92 x 66

Cluny Museum Paris

Revival sideboard

Revival sideboard old

Carved sideboard with motifs inspired by Gothic architecture .


As far as possible, we should avoid carrying such a chest , devoid of handles and beautifully carved so fragile.

Around 1450

Hut , walnut

Fenaille Museum, Rodez


 safes known as " Nuremberg "

Directly derived from the chest, the first safes known as " Nuremberg " appeared in the early 17th century, this piece of furniture used to protectthe valuables of the flight.


Entirely made of iron. The key in the center of the lid actuates a lock with complications occupying the entire surface of the back of this lid.


Around 1600


Green lacquered metal

false front lock entry

Opening on the top actuating six bolts

Provenance Germany

Japanese cedar chest

Japanese cedar chest

Around 1640

The chest of Mazarin

Beginning of the Edo era

Cedar covered with lacquer and gold

Size: 64 x 144 x 73 cm

Chest of precious stones of Louis XIV

Chest of precious stones of Louis XIV

The golden chest says Anne of Austria, has long been considered one of the French masterpieces. It is also one of the masterpieces of the old royal collections still preserved. Delivered to Louis XIV in the spring of 1676 "to enclose all the jewels" that is to say, the jewels of which the court costumes of the king were studded.


Unique testimony of the know-how of Parisian goldsmith craftsmen.

Chest of precious stones of Louis XIV

Around 1675

Safe said of Anne of Austria

Wooden structure covered with gold.

Red satin interior

Size 22 x 45 x 34 cm

Indo-Portuguese Chest

Indo-Portuguese Chest

Indian art is a great finesse. This type of chest, also known as a small Indo-Portuguese cabinet made in India (Gujarat and Sind), reproduces Western forms. They were adopted by the Mughal courts to store jewels.


Around 1680

ivory carved in ebony

Northwest India

Louvre Museum

Department of Arts of Islam

Mail safe

Mail safe

Trunk for transporting postal mail


Around 1700


Discovered in 2017 with its contents

wood, leather, fabric


Coach leather chest studded

Coach leather chest studded

The word "chest" is then given to the element fixed on a coach drawn by horses.

Madame de Pompadour, mistress of Louis XV.


Carriage trunk with slightly domed front and lid decorated with studded brass leather forming a flower pattern.


Around 1750

Carriage trunk of the Marquise de Pompadour

studded leather-clad wood

Dimensions: 56 x 113 x 58 cm

Travel trunk

Definition: trunk

Trunk (Malle) :

Light wooden luggage, covered with canvas inside and outside . Equipped with a lock and clasps. The trunk has a handle on each side for easy loading and handling.


Suitcase :

Same function as the trunk, smaller, it has only a handful.

Curved trunk

Curved trunk old

The history of the trunks is closely linked to the horse-drawn journey(animal traction car)


It was not until 1780 to see the first passenger transport companies appear, but were reserved for an elite. The vastness of the spaces of North America popularized the diligences of various companies, the most famous being Wells Fargo founded in 1852.


The curved trunk meets this new need for travel.


Unlike the chest are purpose is no longer to be a piece of furniture in the house but to be used exclusively to move his personal belongings during his travels.


Installed on the roofs of cars, the first curved trunks must now be lightweight and waterproof to protect their contents from the elements.

Why is the top dished?

 lid is curved in both directions so that the rain can flow on both sides. trunk

The trunks are not protected from bad weather the lid is curved in both directions so that the rain can flow on both sides.


The vault also increases the strength of the lid, just like a bridge or a barrel (wine barrel).

Long-haired skin trunk

Long-haired skin trunk

Curved trunk covered with long-haired skin.

Can be covered with goatskin, wild boar or other game to protect the contents from bad weather. Rural manufacturing.


Around 1850

Wood, goat skin, steel

American trunk

American trunk


The trunk is a rugged trunk with decorative iron hardware ironwork .

Often covered with metal foil pushed back.


Around 1870

Trunk trunk

wood and metal

Dimension 75 x 71 x 50 cm

from America

Basketball trunk (English trunk)

Basketball trunk (English trunk)

Invented in England basket trunk (basket) has a wicker structure allowing significant weight gain, it is covered with tarpaulin.

The English trunk is lighter and cheaper than wood.



Around 1873

Malle Moynat

Waterproof black canvas

cuirass border and cow lock cover

2 wicker frames

Flat trunk

Flat trunk Old vuitton

1860 beginning of a new era


It's a revolution , the flat trunks adapt to the mode of transport. Lighter , less cumbersome , they can stack in train cars and hold ships.


They gradually remove the bulging trunks.

Originally all travel trunks are covered

Originally all travel trunks are covered , to protect the contents of dust, insect and moisture.

  • canvas
  • leather
  • tissues
  • parchment
  • paper
  • embossed cardboard
  • metal
  • vulcanized fiber
  • ... Etc
wood trunk old canvas

There is therefore no curved or flat trunk of raw wood.


Many trunks have

denatured summers by removing the original canvas

to leave the wood apparent

1870 Luxury trunk

1870 Luxury trunk Louis Vuitton

Around 1870 Louis Vuitton, Goyard and Moynat understand that we must create trunks that are innovative, organized, light and aesthetic.


To decorate like a box highlighting the French know-how, nothing is too beautiful it is the beginning of the trunks of luxury.

Other trunks

Automobile trunk

Automobile trunk

At the end of the 19 th century, cars did not fit into their storage body. The car chassis was bought alone and then entrusted to a coachbuilder, the saddlery to a saddler ... trunks for their part were entrusted to the malletier.


The words: Safe and Malle

Will perish on modern cars.

Wooden chest of Camphor

Wooden chest of Camphor

The camphor wood chest is indispensable for the preservation of furs , the particular smell persists for several years. This insect repellent keeps mites away. Assembly of solid wood boards with dovetail , brass corners and hinges.


Some call it "navy officer's chest" but this name is fanciful.


Around 1900

The wooden chest of camphor


Dimension: 41 x 95 x 45

Ringed trunk

Ringed trunk

The encircled trunk is a cheap trunk , produced until the 70 '.


Slats of beech wood.

Vulcanised fiber luggage

Vulcanised fiber luggage

Around 1900 appear the first trunks vulcanized fiber. The Louis Vuitton House will make this material famous with its commercial name: Lozine.Which he will use primarily to protect the edges of luggage, replacing leather and metal.


Other manufacturers will make luggage entirely with this material.

Parchment trunk

Parchment trunk

Old trunk covered with parchment

Military trunk

Military trunk old

Military trunk for storing and delivering ammunition, weapons of war and other live on the battlefield.

Around 1914

Military Trunk 1 World War

painted wood and metal

Size: 58 x 22 x 22 cm

Carton Luggage

Carton Luggage old

From 1936 and the first paid holidays in France, the production of luggage with cardboard structure explodes, in order to reduce the cost of production and satisfy a wider clientele wishing to go on vacation.


Even Louis Vuitton will be there at the end of the 50s, with his Stratos suitcase, then Satellite produced until 2000.

Discover the history of Malletier de légende:

Pauline Moynat

Trunk Moynat

The Moynat story began in 1849 and became famous thanks to his creations for the automotive world. ... Read more

François Goyard

Trunk Goyard

The Goyard story begins in 1853 following the brutal death of his employer ... read more

Louis Vuitton

Trunk Louis Vuitton

The Louis Vuitton story begins in 1854, exclusive packer of the Empress Eugenie wife of Napoleon III ... read more