vintage Louis Vuitton solid mahogany automobile box

This Louis Vuitton toolbox came to us in rather poor condition.  The list of damage was long:

  • Big  scratches
  • varnish  damaged
  • Stained wood 
  • Various cracks
  • Interior painted black and lots of engine oil (sludge)
  • Broken lock
  • Oxidized brass 

It was a real pleasure to work on this box. Indeed it is the only old Louis Vuitton work which is not covered with coated canvas. Entirely in noble wood . Mahogany  is a "precious" wood with a very fine grain, it is termite resistant. Color "brown / red", it is appreciated and used in sculpture and in the manufacture of furniture, often in simple veneer, given its value.  This box, on the other hand, is made of solid wood. 

traditional wood assembly cabinetry

In fact, the trunks were made  of poplar wood.  The choice of wood is very interesting but also the construction.  No nails or glue.  Traditional assembly of Carpentry / Cabinetmaking. Dovetail assembly also called swallowtail , or eagle tail for their shapes. This assembly, with extraordinary mechanical properties , acts as a locking key. Its use dates back to ancient Egypt. Today still used by Luthiers , Naval carpenters and  Cabinetmaker. They are often found, for example, in the traditional assembly of office drawers. 


Louis Vuitton catalog 1900 mahogany automotive toolbox


Appeared in the Louis Vuitton catalog in the 1900s , this box was attached to the car part market. At the time when the toolbox was essential on the first motorized vehicles. 


Louis Vuitton catalog 1900 mahogany automobile trunk toolbox


These toolboxes accommodated among other things keys to remove the wheels, the crank to start, and the essentials for a quick repair .


brass screw split head vuitton trunk restoration


Our restoration workshops have unique know-how , gestures and materials have not changed. When restoring,  time does not count, only the result matters. Our goal is to find the original appearance  of the trunk before its last trip .


Complete dismantling of parts to be polished and wood.

luxurious mahogany wood tool box


Sanding, the purpose of the operation is to "bare" the wood by successively removing the layers of varnish, paint , dirt and scratches . Once the healthy wood is discovered, it squeezed degreased ready for varnishing.

stamp varnish on vuitton mahogany wood


Buffer varnish , given the time of this object, we opted for a traditional shellac varnish , a natural product that is no longer used today except in the restoration of antique furniture and musical instruments. old. Very long work. It is done in 8 to 10 very thin successive layers. The work of the cabinetmaker .

brass polishing vuitton luggage


Restoring brass jewelry,  On this toolbox, several accidents course. A hole in the brass rod, the lock brokenWe repaired them and then proceeded to polish the brass parts.

total disassembly of a toolbox after repair


Reassembly of the box, once all the parts have been restored, all that remains is to reassemble everything carefully.

riveting louis vuitton lock trunk


Riveting, part of the hardware is fixed by slotted head brass screws. The other part like the lock or the clasp are riveted.


louis vuitton lock riveting


The tools and gestures have not changed. Know how to make malle2luxe trunk-maker workshops in Paris.

pampering trunk vuitton


Pampering, we clean everything, we check that everything is perfect and we finish the last adjustments.



Louis Vuitton trunk car old solid mahogany box


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