Historical Louis Vuitton Trunks Are Up For Sale In A Christie's Auction

Timeless and functional, these never-seen-before Louis Vuitton trunks will turn heads.
Saturday 7 November 2020
In the courtyard of the Asnières workshops, around 1888, Louis, Georges and Gaston L. Vuitton (sitting on a Bed trunk) Photo: LOUIS VUITTON ARCHIVES

Classics meet current icons in the upcoming Louis Vuitton auction at Christie’s Hong Kong, because there is more than just a monogram to the brand. To show just how timeless the luxury trunks are, the auction house is presenting a variety of remarkable pieces, some that date all the way back to the 1800s.

Louis Vuitton, to most people currently, is well-known as a high fashion brand with more than just luggage on their repertoire. But the 166-year-old brand has and will always have trunks at its heart. Founder and designer Louis Vuitton was famed for being the premier practitioner of trunk making and packing amongst Paris’ fashionistas of the time.

He had been charged with packing clothes of the elite in the most luxurious manner and to do so he introduced the revolutionary rectangular grey Trianon canvas trunks. Durable, lightweight and with the ability to stack unlike the rounded-top trunks of the time, Vuitton’s designs were sought after by the upper crust and royalty.

Even Vuitton was not safe from imitation however, and to protect his product, he created a beige and brown stripe design in 1876 and later the renowned Damier canvas pattern that we all know today.

To celebrate his innovation as well as the evolution of travel, Christie’s has selected an array of trunks that vary in design and age. Take a look at what is to go on offer this November.



A hardy trunk for hardy explorers in the 1800s. Photo: Christie’s Images


Taking a step back in time to when the world was still greatly unknown to most of the western world and explorers were large in number, we find this piece of history. The 19th century was rife with adventure and typically explorers were those of aristocracy. After all, you needed copious amounts of money to travel back in the day.


Simple and sturdy for the times, Vuitton always strived to make functional yet beautiful pieces. Photo: Christie’s Images


In response to this, Vuitton created the Explorer collection. These trunks were hardy to safeguard the said adventurer’s precious belongings on long and perilous journeys. The trunk in question is a rare Zinc Explorer Trunk that was manufactured in 1886 and features hardwearing zinc, copper, aluminium and brass pieces wrapped up in that grey Trianon canvas. It is estimated to fetch a whopping US$39,000 – US$52,000 at the auction.



One could never lose a trunk like this stunner by Abloh. Photo: Christie’s Images


The following trunk leaps straight into 2019 with more colour than the 1886 trunk could ever imagine. The two trunks are contrasting in colour and name but the sturdy functional design of the original LV trunks remains the same.

This time however, the classic Malle Courrier trunk has been outfitted in black with rainbow detailing by the current iconoclastic artistic director of Louis Vuitton, Virgil Abloh. The trunk on offer is the standout from his Fall/Winter 2019 collection and even features his signature X. It’s bright, loud and fits in perfectly with the modern day LV customer. This pretty trunk is estimated to fetch the pretty sum of US$52,000 – US$65,000.


Other Exceptional Pieces


Hiding inside this LV like a surprise is an iPhone speaker. Photo: Christie’s Images


Lower in the price range but no less exquisite are some other trunks that each signify three different decades. The 2000s Black EPI Leather Trunk with brass hardware on offer has been modified to become an iPhone speaker trunk by Bernardini Milano. A snazzy nook for modern technology, no one would know that you were touting some tunes around in that classic LV.


What’s better than a classic really? Photo: Christie’s Images


From the 2010s is the iconic Damier design on a custom Monogram Malle Courrier Lozine 100 Trunk. This particular rendition has Capucine lining and brass hardware that gives the trunk that definitive LV look.


Small yet just as glamorous, a trunk for all your glamour necessities. Photo: Christie’s Images


Moving to the 2020s, the turn of a new decade is marked by this adorable limited edition Green Tuffetage Monogram Wallet Trunk with green hardware also by Abloh. From the massive trunks of the 19th century to the current sleek black monogram of the 2019s, this little green number is a stunner that shows that LV is mindful that in modern days the most important trunk is one we can grasp in our hands.


For more information take a look at the entire catalogue at Christie’s.