Louis Vuitton Steamer Trunk, ca. 1915

Value (2014) | $4,000 Auction$6,000 Auction

When I was growing up, my parents were the caretakers at an estate of a wealthy family, and this trunk was owned by the daughter of the person who owned the estate. She said that when she was a young woman, she took it on a tour around the world. In the '20s, I think. When they sold the estate, she gave us the trunk just to remember her by, and it's been in our family for 35 years now.

Well, it's a steamer trunk, first of all. So it would have been used to transport your clothing when you went aboard a steamer to travel abroad. And most steamer trunks are very nominal in value, and there's exceptions to that rule and this is one of those exceptions. This is a Louis Vuitton trunk, currently probably one of the leading luxury good sellers worldwide. This was made right around the first part of the 20th century. In 1896, they launched the patented canvas monogram that we see throughout this and you see on handbags and luggage today. The hinges are marked with the patent. The trunk also shows its travel. Where they were headed was labeled on the trunk throughout.

Yes, through the stickers.

And when we open it up... We can see that this is fitted with all of these compartments to hold your clothing, as well as a Louis Vuitton label and serial number. Now, while most steamer trunks are priced in the $100 to $200 range on a very good day, this steamer trunk is much more exceptional than that, and an auction estimate would be $3,000 to $5,000.

(laughs) Wow.

They are being repurposed today. They appeal to a very young collector, people put them in their house for coffee tables, and almost as a status symbol and a piece of sculpture and a work of art.

Wow, that's very cool. Thank you so much. That's... wow. (laughs)

Appraisal Details

Sacramento, CA
Update (2014)
$4,000 Auction$6,000 Auction
Appraised value (2011)
$3,000 Auction$5,000 Auction
Eugene, OR (June 04, 2011)

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