hen we received this wardrobe trunk Aux Etats Unis for the restoration, we were first of all impressed by its extraordinary dimensions: 56 cm x 120 cm x 76 cm closed. Open, it becomes masterful thanks to its chapel opening.
Top: domed lids, double opening
Border : lozine
Clasps, lock, corners, nails, base brackets: solid brass
Channels, other brackets, centering device: brass-coated steel
Wooden slats: beech
Interior: beige canvas, double retractable sliding wardrobe with its 35 hangers (pants, dress, jacket), the bottom of the lids dressed in velvet.
The general condition was quite good despite the broken side handles as well as the torn off lock, oxidized brass and dirty canvas.
It was a real pleasure to restore for the first time a trunk Aux Etats Unis, because we met thanks to our friend Gilbert Rotival who worked with the luxury house for more than 30 years, Mr. Deraisme, son and successor of the family house founded by his father around 1897. He managed the family home in Aux Etats Unis for more than 45 years (from 1942 to 1987).
He then revealed to us that the coated canvas was manufactured by the company "Lorient L'incrusta" today disappeared, just like "la compagnie des clous au soleil" located rue richard Lenoir which supplied the locks, clasps, corners, nails. ..
All the trunks were made in the backyard of the shop located at 229 rue saint honoré Paris 1er. A stone's throw from Place Vendôme, the Tuileries garden and the boutique: Goyard, Moynat, Hermes, Layetier Maréchal (or started Louis Vuitton as an apprentice), Aux Touristes, Au Départ ...
This anti-return lock model is almost always broken, it has one drawback: you don't need the key to close it, but once it is engaged, it cannot be opened. Like an apartment door slamming leaving us blocked outside. Hence the name "anti-return lock". For this reason, 90% of the trunkswith this lock were forced open.
The problem with our trunk is that in addition to being forced the torn part was lost. So it was completely missing half of the lock. We had to find a solution.
Fortunately, the lock model is very common on trunks Aux Etats Unis. We were therefore able to manufacture from photos, and using the trace left on the canvas, an identical model in solid brass.
Thanks to our unique know-how, it is possible for us to build any piece in solid brass and this even with a simple photo, it is the job of the boilermaker added to that of the jeweler.
We saw the solid brass pieces and sculpt the brass, before soldering it. Some brass elements are more than 15 mm thick, making cutting and folding complicated, because everything is done by hand, without a mechanical machine.
The adjustments are made to the millimeter, after finishing the work, it will be polished.
Brass is a very complex material to work with. After 8 hours of careful work the lock is finished, it is perfect. It will be riveted in the old way as at the origin. After restoration, it is impossible to know that this element has been redone, because it is in all respects identical to the original.
We have modified the closing system by removing the anti-return module. Thus, the trunk will never again be closed by mistake and the lock will no longer need to be forced.
Our goal is that the trunk can be used on a daily basis, in an apartment, a room, a shop. That all the elements are perfectly usable. That she can go on with her life without being trapped in a shop window.
This wardrobe trunk Aux Etats Unis weighs 48 kilos empty. It is obvious that no old handle can lift this full trunk. In addition, the handles are not lifting handles, but handles for pulling the trunk in order to handle it when it is placed on the ground.
Like many old trunks the side handles were both broken. We have redone them identically, hand sewn saddle stitch. The stitching on these handles is very wide compared to Louis Vuitton trunk handles. The thickness is like the unusual trunk: 13 mm thick. Full grain leather, vegetable tanned.
As always, we have patinated the leathers so that they harmonize with the retained handles (top and underside of the trunk) and that the restoration is invisible.
On this trunk, part of the brass such as the lock, nails and clasps, corners are in solid brass, another part of the jewelry is in brass-plated steel, this means that there is a thin layer of brass on an element in steel.
Polishing must therefore be carried out in accordance with the rules of the art. We remind you that brushing brasses is detrimental to the value of your trunk.
If we brush brass-plated steel jewelry then the thin layer of brass will leave bare the steel which would be a real disaster. Once again, malle2luxe is the only one to respect the rules of the art, the only one to know how to polish brass even brass, because we only remove the oxidation without attacking the material. Restore without degrading, to find the color and the original state.
it is never very practical to restore trunks with such a large volume, but after restoration we are happy with the result above our expectations. The canvas is magnificent, the color of the lozines contrasts with the canvas while recalling that of the diamonds in the pattern, the woods regain their natural color, and the brasses, once cleaned of all oxidation, capture the light and make this trunk dazzling.
The initial state of conservation of this Aux Etats Unis trunk was exceptional, as were the dimensions. We are happy to have been able to sublimate this potential.
This trunk, sold in our online store, was acquired by an English professional customer, delighted with the result.
Wardrobe Aux Etats Unis : French page