23 January 2011

The Trunk

I've already tweeted about it once or twice but the arrival of The Trunk really does deserve a proper mention on here too, I feel. Having neglected the blog for way too long it seems the perfect icebreaker and hopefully will serve to re-open the floodgates for me, writing-wise.
Last year a friend's neighbour had decided to sell her house with a great deal of furniture and nick nacks still in it, as she retired into a local home for the elderly. Before putting the house on the market, the immediate family came and checked all the 'remnants' and told my friend she was welcome to purchase any of the items marked 'for sale'. I was over at my friend's for a cup of tea and a natter one afternoon when she invited me to go next door and have a peak at the things she'd chosen for herself and 'Who knows,' she said, 'there may be something you'd like?'. Well, I do love a house clearance as well as antiques plus I'm by nature too nosy for my own good, so took great pleasure in accepting the invitation. There were a few lovely little pieces: wardrobes, interesting cabinets, paintings and prints, a globe and some luggage and of course the pi├Ęce de r├ęsistance, an old Louis Vuitton Steamer trunk. When I saw it I thought 'Oh gosh, we've always wanted one of those' but was certain that if my friend hadn't earmarked it for herself, the family surely would have. Instead nobody showed any interest, apart from me. I registered my eagerness and awaited confirmation that I could purchase it from the owners. Whilst still in the house I took pictures and sent them to him indoors, he promptly came back with 'Get it! Get it!' or words to that effect. 'He's keen', I thought. My friend and I took a few moments to inspect the case, we opened it and couldn't believe the interior, it was very impressive with beautiful original mahogany Louis Vuitton engraved coat hangers and it seemed in relatively good condition considering its age which at a guess I'd say was just over 100 years. We moved on, had more tea and eventually said our goodbyes - she said she'd let me know and of course there was no hurry on my part so I told her not to worry. Although I must admit to having felt an underlying excitement within me, in my gut, which told me this was a nice piece to have come across, casually in such a way.
I eventually received the 'OK' via my friend from the family of the lady and also the price which I felt was very reasonable indeed. Especially as I had chosen a selection of items, so the price was for the lot rather than for individual pieces. It took 2 strong men to carry the LV down about 100 steps and into our car. It now stands resplendent in our office. A magnificent beast of a trunk, I've started researching its origins and history as well as the monogrammed letters on the lid (RvS... ironic, no?).
I also came across this wonderful 2010 project called "Louis Vuitton: 100 Legendary Trunks", an exceptional book which showcases the most beautiful  LV creations through more than eight hundred photographs. In the book you'll find many incredible pieces, along with the equally incredible stories of their creation. To find out more and to be transported into the glamourous world of Louis Vuitton and luxury luggage, go directly to the Louis Vuitton website and select "The World Of Louis Vuitton" where you'll find the link to the Legendary Trunks page and its exquisite video.You'll also find Bono and his lovely wife Ali somewhere there.
Oh, and there's even an app!
Anyway, here's our beast. We're having it valued next. Christie's I think.

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