Louis Vuitton trunk lock

Louis Vuitton trunk lock

Model Louis Vuitton lock between 1854 and 2019

Article dedicated to old trunk locks, Louis Vuitton. We try to reference the main ones.

There are dozens of different models we present to you the most common.

Vocabulary lock of trunk

lock vuitton

There are 3 types of safety technology for trunks:


Definition - lock :

A lock does not strictly speaking to "close" a trunk or a suitcase which is the role of "clasps".


A lock is intended to give the owner of the object a security on its contents by a link more or less perfected.

General description :


A lock is composed of two distinct parts, one on the lid and called " hasp ", the other on the outside and including the " palatre " and internally the " mechanism box ".

Hasp : Upper part of a lock, usually attached to the front of a trunk lid, suitcase, case, etc. And whose articulated part is folded on the pallet is provided with an auberon which receives the bolt.


Hasp loop : Moving metal piece of flat or semicircular shape, joins the hasp to the door of the lock.


Auberon (or Aubron): A small metal piece in the shape of a bridge attached to the underside of the hasp loop, which passes through the palatre and in which the lock bolt engages, it is a form of striker.


Palâtre : Lower part of a lock. Metal plate usually attached to the trunk of a trunk. At the back of this one is the lock mechanism. It can be provided with a tenon.

Tenon : Metal accessory attached to the pallet of the lock, intended to guide and to maintain the interlocking of the hasp with the palatre.


Lock box : Metal part of the lock fixed to the pallet and containing the mechanism of the lock.


Throat : Metal parts mounted on a pivot, lifted at a certain height by the rotation of the key bit.


Key : Metal part used to open or close a lock.


Key stem : Which can be solid or drilled to slip on the axis of the lock.


Panneton : End of the key of varied form that enters the lock and activates the bolt of the lock. Its pattern, cut to match the lock entrance and trims, or keyholes.

Finishes - color

The lock is declined in several finishes according to the times:

  • Solid steel
    • Glossy lacquered - black
    • Copper polished mirror - red
  • Solid brass
    • Polished mirror - yellow
    • Mirror polished nickel - silver
  • Solid aluminum
    • Polished mirror - white


Definition - lock with lining :

Definition - lock with lining :

The lock has been developed around -750 BC (ancient Rome), then improved around 500 AD (Middle Ages).


The lock works by means of fixed metal parts (the fittings) whose arrangement must correspond to the pattern of the key bit so that it can rotate.


The padlock is cheap and sturdy, but it can be easily hooked. A master key makes it easy to open locks that work on this principle. In practice, they resist only a few seconds to a trained and equipped criminal.

Varied lock

Definition - varietal lock:

This is an improvement of the lining lock, in which the input shaft is profiled so as to accept only the keys provided with a bit with the corresponding profile. This variant is also called a numbered lock because the profile of the keyhole (variure) sometimes refers to a number, although there are many other forms.


The entry profile does not interfere with the use of a hook and a thief just as easily opens this type of lock as a lock with conventional trim.


On the first trunks Louis Vuitton around 1860 which was curved and covered with Trianon canvas, the locks were black lacquered tinplate.


Later, on the upscale flat trunks, the locks will be brass. Most brass first generation locks were polished brushed vertically. The design will evolve.

The auberon is most often cold-riveted steel.


The first will not be signed or patented.


The end of the stem is drilled in the center.

Central lock

While the first trunk models were protected by two locks , reinforced by a strong leather strap.


In 1886, Louis and Georges perfected the trunk closure system and they made major changes to all the House's fabrications by adopting a single central lock with two clasps on both sides. 

Louis Vuitton throat lock

Definition: throat lock

A lock is a lock equipped with metal parts mounted on a pivot, lifted at a certain height by the rotation of the key bit.

This is the first real improvement to the padlock. Indeed, it is necessary that all the grooves are simultaneously lifted to release the bolt.


The security level of such a lock is measured by the number of its gorges: from 2 for the most basic, from 3 to 6 for the most elaborate.

Lock with 2 grooves - anti return 1888

Appeared in the years 1888 , the anti-return lock is aesthetic, flat, with system of 2 gorges , it is reserved for high-end models of the brand. For the first time the hasp is engraved with the addresses of the shops.

Unfortunately, it has a disadvantage: we do not need the key to close it, but once engaged, we can not open it. Like a flat door slamming, leaving us stranded outside. Hence the name " lock anti return ".


For this reason, 90% of trunks with this lock were forced.


Engraving locks :


Moraillon: 1 rue du scribe Paris

Louis Vuitton

289 Oxford Street London

or 454, Strand London (depending on the year of production)


Palâtre: Number of lock

3-groove throat lock - 1889

The travelers carry in their trunks the essential objects, their important papers, banknotes, their jewels.


So many personal belongings entrusted to unknown hands all along their journey make their owner anxious not to be certain of always remaining master of the sesame opening and closing access to their secrets and their treasures.


To reassure his wealthy travelers, Louis Vuitton wanted to offer them the greatest security, making their trunks a sanctuary, a real safe.

It was not until September 10, 1889, for Georges Vuitton to develop, with the help of two craftsmen serifiers Mr. Foucher and Mr. Delachanal, a lock mechanism with 3 grooves that will be patented.


Each clock brass throat is numbered and randomly assembled to form a tamper-proof lock mechanism.


This new closing process is a revolution for the time for a trunk. It is still the basis of the multi-purpose locks used today for rigid luggage.


It represents a second advantage. Whereas before, each lock number was unique, Louis Vuitton imagines an individualized order number on each lock and equivalent on all the locks of the same buyer.

The latter has the exclusive property of a single key able to open all his Louis Vuitton luggage. And this for his present and future luggage.


The true privilege of the cosmopolitan traveler.


Georges filed the patent for this revolutionary "lock-in" system, as indicated on the locks themselves.


There are then 2 sizes of lock using the same mechanism.


Large lock engraving :


Hasp: Patent SGDG PATENT

1 rue du scribe Paris

Louis Vuitton

454 Strand London

Palâtre: Made in France


Lock number


Small engraving :


Hasp: Patent SGDG PATENT

Louis Vuitton

454 Strand London


Palâtre: Made in France

1 rue du scribe Paris

454 Strand London

Lock number

4-groove lock - 1890

During the year 1890, less than a year after its creation, the groove lock filed evolves and they add a throat.

5-groove lock - 1900

Around 1900, George Vuitton evolved his throat lock by adding an extra throat, 5 throats instead of 4.


His lock helped increase the reputation of the luxury home. Its design is recognizable by everyone.


Mechanism :

The chest thickens with an extra throat.


Engraving :

New store address in London: 149 New bond St London

Double push lock - 1910

At the beginning of the year 1910 , the trunkmaker invents the double push-button lock.


Dedicated to boxes and small suitcases and offering a quick opening, enough to satisfy elegant travelers who, with a simple push of the two push buttons, open their luggage without damaging their nails. This system works through a spring and the hasp remains in the open position.


The right pusher is fixed and serves as a support. Only the left push button translate.



The trunk is derived from locks with 5 grooves.


Engraving :

Moraillon: Louis Vuitton

Palâtre: 149 New Bond St. London - 70 Champs Elysees Paris - Made in France

New generation lock - 1931

From 1931 a new generation of Louis Vuitton lock equips the luggage of the luxury house. There are now:


4 sizes of throat locks , including one with double push.


The entry of the locks is replaced by a removable cylinder (barrel) on which is engraved the number of the lock.

Mechanism :

The key will be smaller and brass.

Even though the 5-groove technology remains the same, the throat combination system is completely overhauled.


Design :

The hasp loop will be redesigned more pointed to facilitate handling and opening.


Engraving :

Hasp: The LV logo is appearing.

Palâtre: Louis Vuitton - Made in France

Louis Vuitton 6-bolt lock

Around 1990, no aesthetic change just adding an extra throat.


Mechanism :

The key bit does not change, so they will add an extra groove in the same length (corresponding to the trunk depth). The grooves will be smaller from 1.2 mm to 1 mm.

Special cases :

Lock without inscription Louis Vuitton

The lock trim will not be completely abandoned, it will be kept for some special cases including black lacquered steel lock, for trunks 4th, 5th and 6th series (low end finish).


These locks will then be without registration or shop address on the hasp and the palâtre. The stuffing mechanism is riveted to the paddle and not screwed.


This lock will be abandoned in the years 1915.

Louis Vuitton letter and star lock

The padlock will be used for some special cases including letter locks and star , mainly used for automotive trunks. The numbering of the locks is a letter and not a number.


ABCDYZ being the most common.


Unlike the steel lock, the letter lock is brass with the patent inscriptions. Only the mechanism will change, the outside being the same.


Car trunk : The trunk locks are equipped with a dust cover and do not have the addresses of shops. The engraving is then on the dust cover.

Single push lock


Single-pusher locks do not have the patented Louis Vuitton throat system, which is exclusively for suitcases and automobile suitcases.