A trunk of legend
History of the Louis Vuitton wardrobes
Wardrobes trunks or box trunks appeared in the Louis Vuitton catalog at the beginning of the last century. Very popular with a clientele of rich travelers, they allowed to store a dressing room and have immediate access, without the chore of unpacking as was the case with older generations of flat trunks (trunk cabin or trunk mail) .
The Louis Vuitton wardrobe trunks were then revolutionary. With a minimum footprint, they open vertically, like a book. Ideal for small spaces like boat cabins, train and transit trips to the hotel.
Composing, in its most current version:
- one side wardrobe with his shoebox
- on one side with drawers.
A Louis Vuitton trunk repainted in yellow
Reception of a trunk for scrapping
When we received this trunk, we were full of optimism. It was not our first complex wardrobe restoration , and we were sure to take on this new challenge quickly.
Unfortunately bad surprises awaited us.
Abandoned in a barn in a deep French province, this trunk had lived several lives.
Appearances are deceptive. Indeed this trunk was not yellow vuittonite canvas, because as surprising as it may seem, for lack of knowledge, the original monogram LV canvas had been covered with several layers of paint, probably between the years 1950/1970.
The last layer of paint on the canvas was canary yellow, the rest of the elements were covered with black paint.
The interior was in poor condition and the drawers were missing.
Layers of paint
What had to be a formality turned into a nightmare. The painting was not just any painting ... but a painting intended for the floor and exterior facades of the houses! This weather-resistant, abrasion, frost and sun-resistant paint is extremely tough, impossible to dilute with solvents such as acetone or propane.
After several inconclusive attempts we leave in a corner of the workshop this trunk while waiting to find a happy solution.
Several years pass ... and in the middle of winter, in the middle of the reorganization of the premises, we find this trunk that takes the dust. Helpless, disillusioned, it was time to act.
At Malle2luxe.fr we know how to surround ourselves with the best craftsmen, experts in their field, with a flawless commitment and perfect mastery of their art.
For this project we asked Mathilde Billard Workshops. They have a knowledge of excellence and extremely sharp knowledge.
Mathilde Billard Workshop - Paris
Located in the heart of Paris in République, Atelier Mathilde BILLARD , has specialized for more than 8 years in the conservation and restoration of painted works.
Mathilde Billard followed for 5 years at the prestigious Ecole de Condé in Paris training conservation heritage restoration.
His fields of action are as varied as they are varied:
- Cleaning the pictorial layer
- Tear recovery
- Consolidation of the support
- Removing repaints
- Removing varnish
- ... etc
Clearance of repaints
Removing the yellowed varnish
Canvas on wooden frame
Portrait Woman - 19th Century
Working for prestigious clients such as:
- National museums
- The Elysée Palace
- Historic monuments
- The churches
- Art galleries
- The details
Biblical scene - 15th century
As comfortable with contemporary paintings of the 21st century, as ancient academic paintings of the fifteenth century.
Mathilde has made a name for herself in the profession, and shares with us the passion for a job well done and the values of conservation of French know-how.
The story gets tougher every day. When Mathilde discovers under this first layer of yellow paint a layer of acrylic beige with a third layer of sky blue paint between them on one side ...
The further we went, the more our case got bogged down. Our difficulties were added like these successive layers of painting ...
In the face of doubt
Mathilde tells us of her concerns, conscientious to obtain a satisfactory result without damaging the mythical monogrammed canvas hidden under its thick layers of paint.
Our answer was simple:
We are aware that the chances of success are very low. You have carte blanche. It's been several years since this trunk clutter our workshop, if you can not remove the paint this trunk will have no value, it will end in spare parts we will recover, the nails, the corners, the wood, the lock, the lozine that will save another trunk.
If you can not save this trunk, no one will get there. If you damaged the canvas it does not matter we will not want you. Weare our last chance.
Join our knowledge
The real complexity of this trunk is the surface. Practically 3 m².This turns every spot into a pharaonic workload.
After several attempts we join Mathilde in her workshops to unite our knowledge and find a solution together.
Indeed what we could not do, remove this first layer of yellow paint Mathilde there was exceptional in removing 99%.
But what Mathilde could not remove is the 2nd coat of beige paint, especially in the hollow of the canvas where it remained encrusted. But this one we were able to remove with our products.
So we were on this project, quite complementary. It is by uniting our talents that we have found the perfect result.
Undeniably without the Atelier Mathilde BILLARD we could not have saved this trunk.
A few weeks later, we retrieved our trunk, stripped of the first coat of yellow paint, and blue sky.
Remained the 2nd layer of beige acrylic paint on canvas and black paint on lozines, brasses and woods.
Despite the current appearance we were nearing the goal.
And that is how after several days of a meticulous work and 400 liters of water! we have pickled lozine, wood, brass, canvas, polished brass.
No repainting was done on the canvas or the lozines. It is a restoration respecting the rules of art.
The trunk was fantastic, the canvas had lived but the result was above our expectations.
So much energy, doubt and perseverance have resulted in the satisfaction of contemplating the result.
We are the only ones who can undertake such a complex restoration on a Louis Vuitton trunk of this state. Our level of achievement quality remains unmatched, no detail is overlooked.
Of course considering the time spent this restoration is not very lucrative,
but we find our reward elsewhere. Do not restrict the field of possibilities to the limits of our imagination, always want to do better,
and share our passion as a craftsman of French luxury that we jealous the rest of the world.
This achievement could not have been possible without the partnership of Ateliers Mathilde Billard.
Other restorations of Louis Vuitton wardrobe trunk:
Restauration d'une wardrobe repeinte en jaune : Version Française