The jewelry is all the hardware, mainly in brass, which can be found in leather goods, saddlery and briefcases.
These jewelry stores are sometimes damaged, oxidized, our role is to restore them to their original appearance and function. It would be quicker to replace the whole with a "generic" replica part of new manufacture. But to restore it is to start from a damaged authentic part and to complete only the deteriorated elements while retaining a maximum of original elements. When restoring time does not count, only the result matters.
We also buy Louis Vuitton "wreck" trunks. For example a trunk where the canvas is missing or too damaged to be restored . These trunks then end up in pieces to supply our stock. In extreme cases where the part is missing, we can then replace it with an old, authentic part of the same generation and of the same model.
The guarantee to offer the most beautiful authentic restorations of luxury trunks.
Many pieces in brass or steel are marked "Louis Vuitton". None of the parts that we manufacture or elements of restoration carry an inscription at the risk of being assimilated to counterfeit. We remind that only the Louis Vuitton company has the right to affix its mentions. Even if rarer it is the same for Goyard and moynat only they have the right to put their name on an object.
The top quality trunks are closed by extremely sturdy locks with a patented multigrip mechanism, as indicated on the locks themselves.
Georges Vuitton , son and successor of Louis Vuitton, perfected the tumbler lock, reputed to be "unpickable". Each lock has an individual number for each customer, which allows the customer to open all their luggage with the same key. The lock number has no link with the serial number which is inside the baggage, specific to each baggage. There are therefore as many different keys as there are locks.
The locks are placed separately on each piece of luggage, at mid-length, exactly under the leather strap or under the handle. These locks protect the contents of the luggage from thieves and onlookers.
This part is one of the most damaged parts on trunks and suitcases, often forced when the key is lost, or the lock seized, all pretexts are good to force these strong boxes.
To open this trunk, the previous owner decided that the best solution was to cut the hasp ring like a bandit ... carnage! We will take you behind the scenes of a restoration , step by step. W e strive every day to bring old trunks back to life by keeping 100% of the pieces present so as not to lose this authenticity.
Conclusion: All these steps are essential, none is superfluous. Only the combination and the mastery of all these actions are the guarantee of an impeccable result.
On this Louis Vuitton toiletry set from 1920
The hasp which is the upper part of the lock has been forced. Dented, welded, we repaired it keeping 100% of the original parts. Read more...
We then set about restoring only the lost part as on this automobile trunk dust cover, the Vuitton automobile trunks and luggage were placed behind the cars, and this small rotary valve protected the mechanism from dust. We cut the part from solid brass, taking care to faithfully respect the characteristics of the original.
Like an old watch mechanism, the mechanism of the groove locks is invisible, hidden in the case. Even if it is not visible, we pay great attention to its details which make the difference, and the quality of a job well done. We ultrasonically clean these mechanisms to ensure they function properly for years to come.
It is always magical to hear the mechanism of a lock operate, from watchmaking to security. The oldest keys are steel, then brass. Often lost or broken, we are often asked to redo them.
Repair of an old Louis Vuitton key
When our client brought us his Louis Vuitton trunk, he was in despair. Indeed he had locked it several months ago and had lost it ... A classic! Despite the promises of invulnerability of this mythical lock, said to be unpickable, we agree to take up the challenge.
Of course, it would be easy to remove the rivets to open the lock, but our mission: to open it without weapons or violence. Thanks to the unique lock number we determine the shape of the key. Hand machining of teeth. You just have to try the key. It opens the lock effortlessly to the delight of its owner. Challenge met with flying colors, all without a weapon or violence ...
The locks are framed by two matching clasps, also called buckle, the model of which is also patented. This closure system is characteristic. The solid brass elements that compose it are the support of various registered markings, involving the initials or the name of Louis Vuitton, Goyard or Moynat.
In some cases, the lever is completely missing, we make it, in a block of solid brass, we trace the 2 projections (view A and B). Then we sculpt it by hand. This work requires a lot of time, precision and a real know-how of a metal sculptor. Unlike cast parts, parts cut in the mass are much more resistant.
On this Louis Vuitton cabin trunk from 1920, the two clasps are completely broken. After dismantling we restored the whole. Read more...
It is not uncommon to find hardware stores eaten away by rust and oxidation. These accessories have a real reinforcement function and participate in the structure of the trunk. There is therefore no choice but to replace them. We have to redo them identically both in terms of the nature of the steel, as well as the thickness, shape and finish.
Cutting steel sheets with shears, deburring, chamfering, drilling, bending as many steps for a result consistent with the origin.
The contemporary handles are made of cowhide left in its natural color. The old handles, prior to 1914, are generally in brass on the 1st series or in steel on the other series.
The handle is the contact area between the hand and the luggage, it is often the part of the trunk most exposed to stress. We restore in our workshops the broken handles whose fastener is broken and manufacture the missing handle. Brass is a very delicate material to shape and solder.
Nails and rivets are essential elements in the construction of a trunk. Generally the head is in solid brass, sometimes in copper, sometimes in aluminum , the rod is itself always in steel. A trunk is made up of several hundred nails or rivets, their locations are not linked to chance. It has been expertly studied by the house of Louis Vuitton, Goyard, or Moynat. They securely hold all jewelry, slats and other items to the wooden barrel .
A disassembled rivet can no longer be used because it becomes too short. So we have to weld a new steel rod. The weld must be perfect because the forces exerted during the matting of the rivet are very important. Our expertise as a boilermaker allows us to weld the nail heads to new rods.
In the event that the jewelry stores have a surface treatment, as on certain automobile trunks or wardrobe trunk interiors ... we have our authentic antique jewelry treated identically to the origin. This treatment is carried out in Paris by our friend and partner Bertin Aubert .
Once the technical parts have been repaired, we proceed to cleaning and polishing, aesthetics and cosmetics of the jewelry. Historically, all brass in Louis Vuitton, Goyard, Moynat, Aux Tourists, Rotival and Hermes trunks were polished to a high gloss. Just like the brasses of porte cocheres, luxury watches, family silverware, fine jewelry ...
The polisher's job is to find the original condition of the luggage before its last trip. It is not to find a new trunk or a new brass, just to find the condition of the luggage if it had never been abandoned and if it had been maintained throughout its life.
Polishing is a succession of high precision steps that allow you to find the original shiny finish. The small strokes on the brass are preserved, we remove only the oxidation, the dirt, without deforming the surface.
Note: The more properly polished the brass, the easier it is to maintain.
On this Louis Vuitton trunk bought by one of our customers. He asked us to "resume" all the restoration of the trunk including the polishing of the brass because entrusted to the wrong person. The nylon brush used completely plowed, deformed the surface, a massacre ... An additional financial cost which the customer would have done well. These marks caused by a brush are not marks of use and are not part of the soul of the luggage, it is just the damage of a bad restoration.
How to recognize a good polishing of brass?
You want to buy an old Louis Vuitton trunk, we will help you to recognize a good polishing of the brass, so you will be able to differentiate the brushed brasses, or passed under acid, polished brasses in the rules of the art.
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