Malle2luxe was born out of a passion for French craftsmanship and a passion for old luggage , shining brasses, cowhide leather, fabrics patinated by transatlantic crossings and distant journeys.
This article aims to educate future buyers , so that they make the best choice on their next investments , at the best price.
Denounce certain indelicate practices . We help you avoid the pitfalls!
It is a question of fighting against the destruction of the heritage which affects the world of the restoration of old trunk Louis Vuitton, Goyard, Moynat.
No article is available to date to precisely point out the defects to avoid when buying a collector's trunk.
In order to help you, our expertise in the world of the old travel trunk and our experience in the catering sector, will be invaluable to you.
Buying with an invoice , and not paying in cash scams are plentiful as you will discover throughout this article.
The invoice protects you in the event of a stolen object, and will allow you to better resell your trunk if the seller has a good reputation in the luxury trunk market. This invoice, however, does not guarantee the authenticity of the trunk, nor the good restoration. Because not all sellers, or association have a good reputation, be careful especially the one that offers certificates of authenticity and free estimates which both have no value.
Obviously, if possible, prefer trunks in perfect original condition. Unfortunately, the states of origin are increasingly rare, because these trunks have traveled, were poorly stored, sometimes mistreated. It is therefore common to buy trunks that have undergone one or more restorations.
The restorations are not harmful from the moment they r espectent certain points :
The discounts are:
The elements that condemn a trunk:
Buying in the auction room or from an art dealer (brokers, Saint-Ouen flea market, antique dealers, galleries) does not guarantee a good restoration, nor the authenticity of the trunk, so once again, remain vigilant!
By acquiring a trunk in the auction room, buyers think they are making a good deal. It's not always the case !
Pay attention to the selling costs ranging from 16% to 28% in addition to the hammer price.
The enthusiasm of buyers to acquire collector's trunks drives up the price. In fact, on some products they regularly pay 20% to 30% more than the real price in the store.
These trunks often need to be renovated and the cost of a restoration is not negligible: several thousand euros.
It is therefore very risky. Complications can happen, like glasses in the wood , which causes their value to drop. The price of the work increases accordingly. It is double the penalty.
Only a specialist in luxury trunk can accurately assess the object and determine the extent of the damage and detect bad ways of previous restorations, such as a varnished or waxed canvas.
During these sales, dealers from all over the world mingle with collectors and often novice individuals.
The euphoric atmosphere of the auction rooms stimulates buyers who push the auction and this is reflected in the final sale price, sometimes delusional.
However, with the price of luxury Louis Vuitton, Goyard and Moynat trunks steadily increasing over the past few years and exceptional trunks becoming scarce , these auction house acquisitions are not such a bad deal for the finest. rooms. However, it will take longer for the price of the rating to approach the selling price.
In addition, the "Trash" trunks whose canvas is varnished, repainted or tinkered with are to be banned.
Labels travel trunk makers, these three brands have no collectible value . Abuse of common name.
Because there is no state diploma "antique" just like "Restorer of trunk" for this reason the profession is gangrenous of reconverted handyman.
Without any technical background or knowledge of traditional know-how and by greed, to give a little shine to objects, do irreversible damage on our trunks.
It is therefore important that luggage be entrusted to a qualified professional craftsman such as Malle2luxe and to be wary of associations , autodidacts, volunteers, collectors and municipal museums, each to his or her profession.
A good restoration is a restoration in the rules of the art, which keeps the authenticity of the trunk and its history, it is a real added value of the object. It must be consistent with the existing. Eliminate accidents along the way, without deleting its history. Over the clumsy treatments and restorations. Very often, in fact, it is by believing to do the right thing that this baggage is denatured.
The goal sought by the restorer is to restore the damaged object to a healthy state , as close as possible to the original state, while remaining faithful to its history and preserving the patina acquired over the years. The Restoration of a trunk is to go in search of an authenticity that is sometimes lost.
We know the history and use of each historic trunk-maker in order to best respect the history of its luggage.
Today, three principles govern the restoration work of collector's trunks:
As you will understand throughout this article, not all restorations are of the same value, whether they are preventive or curative. Respect for the finishes that are the result of the expertise of the trunk maker are the key to a beautiful restoration.
The trunk interiors are covered with cotton and linen canvas, a very fine weave, very tight, satin finish.
At the time, the interiors were glued with rabbit skin glue or fish glue, this explains the rise of glue which forms brown spots, in case of humidity. The quilting is not made from the same fabric as the one covering the barrel.
The trunks being airtight, the interiors are very often damaged, because they retain all the humidity.
A good restoration is a restoration that conforms to the existing one, an informed eye should not be "shocked" and say "this trunk has been redone, because the interior has nothing to do with the whole"
The most common poor restoration mistakes are:
This technique is common on worthless trunks. It's more boring when the trunk is a Louis Vuitton, a Goyard, a Moynat. Very far from the existing, this a discount on a luxury trunk, because it will be necessary to completely redo the interior.
Example of two restorations made in our peer workshops:
It is two restorations are consistent with the origin.
The quilting was intended to protect the contents of the trunk. It is a very important element in a trunk interior. The secret of a beautiful quilting is the volume, straight ribbons and diamonds, all of the same size. The nails connecting the ribbons have rounded solid brass heads.
The original used ribbons are of various weaving patterns and various colors. However, they are all 100% natural cotton, with matte reflections.
The tapes of polyester from the oil industry do not have their place in a collection of trunk restoration.
Their bright reflections are very easily recognizable and very tasteless.
Pad accumulating a number of errors:
We had to redo it in our workshops to find the original state.
On this orange Vuittonite trunk where the interior is restored in our workshops respecting:
In terms of polishing we see anything and everything!
Definition : Polishing is the action of polishing: treatment making a surface smooth and shiny. Aiming to achieve a beautiful appearance, beautiful shine, high quality surface finish.
We will show you how to recognize a good polish of brass. It is clear that 95% of polishing on second-hand trunks sold by antique dealers, or second-hand dealers are very poorly made.
On a simple photo it is very difficult to see if the polishing is carried out according to the rules of the art , or if it is massacred with a brush. Because you have to see the reflections from several angles and play with the light
However, some details will help you quickly spot bad polishings.
Keep in mind that luxury trunks are small series products made with the greatest attention, by exceptional craftsmen, concerned with details and quality, just like collectibles:
Even if these objects are old, even if there is a certain charm in having a ruined object , it is inconceivable for a collector to own a precious, luxury object, scratched by an inadequate restoration, not in conformity with the origin. !
Example of a polishing on a very oxidized brass because it has never been cleaned. Perfectly successful surface polishing, performed in our Ateli ers.
A good polish is a golden yellow brass , shiny mirror polished, with beautiful reflections
Example of factory polishing, during trunk manufacture in the Louis Vuitton workshops in Asnières.
The following techniques are detrimental for a collector's trunk:
For the sake of economy and time, and often out of ignorance, many restaurateurs and merchants use non-traditional techniques to revive brasses. These techniques unfortunately cause damage to these surfaces.
Louis Vuitton's brasses have always been brilliant.
The initiative to make trunk tuning , brushing them, making them red or other ... is not in accordance with the origin.
The use of wire brush, nylon, brass. These brushes intended for stripping old paints on metal are highly damaging to the brass of your trunks.
Indeed, the use of brush to revive the brasses, can:
The material removed will not be able to be added anymore it's a real prejudice, a discount for a collector's trunk!
The marks left by a wire brush polishing are recognizable by the blurred reflections.
Originally, the luxury trunks have shiny polished brass. The novice initiative to brush brasses is more akin to tunning than restoration. And you can't really call it polishing.
There will be the shiny side but we will lose the smooth side essential for a shiny or mirror polish.
The brush removes 0.2 to 0.8 millimeters of material depending on the brushes used.
The real know-how of the polisher is to sublimate by removing as little material as possible, just removing the oxidation is in hundredths of a millimeter (0.01 millimeter).
Example of the marks left by a metal brush polishing.
Example of brushing brasses. Resumption of surfaces in our workshop.
As a result, the brass parts are not deformed, the edges and engravings remain perfectly legible ... The brasses will regain their brilliance as on the first day even after 100 years of oxidation!
Some small impacts due to these many trips remain present because we remove the minimum of material.
We are not trying to make them disappear, they are part of the soul of Louis Vuitton luggage. The trunk returns to its original condition before its last trip.
Example of a quality polishing done in our Malle2luxe workshops
On the contrary, adding scratches made by the brush adds nothing to the history of the trunk and makes it lose value.
Example of a lock whose surfaces have been massacred with a brush:
It's a real loss for the trunk
Tip - Stain in the corners of the lock:
Avoid this kind of restoration which says a lot about the seller's amateurism. It is important that the polishing is carried out over the entire surface, even in the recesses.
Household products of the "magic mirror" type are often used.
The oily formula of these products stains leathers and leaves a whitish deposit on the fabrics, this damage is irreversible on the fabrics.
Products for cleaning brass based on hydrochloric acid eat away and often leave irreversible marks on canvas or leather.
Brass is an alloy composed mainly of copper and zinc. The chemical reaction of the acid on the brass eats away at the zinc, bringing out the copper in the composition of the brass. The result is a brass with a non-uniform reflection.
Even after polishing, it will therefore be very difficult to remove these traces and find the golden yellow color of the polished brass.
Example of a Louis Vuitton automobile trunk, the brasses of which are treated with acid
After restoration and polishing of the brasses in our workshops.
Important : The better the polished surface, the easier it will be to maintain your brass and keep their shine and shine. Brushed brass will not be able to keep the same appearance.
The oxidation of the brass of the trunks is inevitable , they will inevitably turn brown it is in its nature. There is no solution that lasts and will keep the brass in your trunks shiny.
Except of course the gilding. The gold would protect the brass from oxidation, but each piece would have to be disassembled, immersed in baths and the brass would lose its shades of color, then becoming uniform, as if frozen.
Because there is no miracle, the one and only solution to keep a shiny brass is to clean it regularly with a soft cloth and a suitable maintenance cream.
Each of our trunks is sold with a tube of cream for the maintenance of brass
Professional brass maintenance kit : Available on the shop
We recommend maintenance cleaning every 5 to 8 months depending on the humidity levels of the ambient air.
In a living room with dry air, the oxidation will take longer than the brasses of a luggage exposed to the humidity of a bathroom.
False good plan - protection:
D ' origin all trunks travel (luxury or popular, curved or flat) are covered to protect the contents from dust, insect and moisture.
The old trunks are covered with:
There is therefore no curved or flat trunk in raw wood.
Many trunks have been denatured by removing the original canvas to leave the wood visible.
There are even forums that explain how to cut canvas and sand wood. So beware.
The outer fabrics are fragile and precious. Contrary to what one can read in certain "amateur" books of trunk. They are therefore not restored with a blow of karcher .
Restoring a canvas is like a painting, it requires patience and thoroughness. It is important to never apply any product to the canvas, such as varnish, oil or wax. These products will shine instantly, but in the long run it's an irreversible disaster.
A good restoration consists in restoring the canvas, while remaining faithful to its history, while preserving the patina taken over the years.
A new generation of merchants prints canvas
Even worse than the repainted canvas, Louis Vuitton faux checkered canvas and faux Goyardine canvas printed on plastic sheeting.
We also saw fake canvas printed directly on paper which is then varnished ... a plague.
On coated fabrics, the application of an insulating product such as wax or worse, varnish of any kind (glycerol, polyester, polyurethane, water, resin ...) is a disaster.
These products trap grime and make restoration or cleaning impossible. The varnished trunks are therefore condemned, and sometimes cannot be restored.
Example with this magnificent Goyard trunk condemned by poor restoration.
This is a discount of -50% to -70% and making the trunk very hard to sell. Worse than the varnish, the " repainting " that is also called re-tinted, re-pigmented, re-colored, re-coated ... In short, the canvas has been repainted! One of the most devastating irreversible techniques in the collectibles market.
Just like the repainting of the dial of old Rolex, Omega, Breguet, Patek Philippe watches. It is killing the soul of the baggage, removing all patina from it.
Be careful with repainted canvases, none is spared:
Example of repainted canvas that lose all collection value:
We estimate that 60% of the plain trunks sold by merchants are partially or totally repainted , hence the importance of being extremely vigilant.
Example of a repainted exterior canvas
and condemning this united trunk.
The vuittonite coated canvas, existing in multiple colors.
This original canvas grain "chagrin" reminiscent of the grain of leather.
Paint can reduce the grain of the canvas.
It is easy to see the repaint by "black light" lamp.
Example of orange vuittonite coated canvas
Example of a partially repainted striped Louis Vuitton trunk.
The paintings striped Beige / Red is rare.
The red stripes have been repainted over the original beiges.
The original is dark beige / red and not light beige / red.
The striped canvas is a woven canvas, so it cannot be coated, if coated it means that it has been repainted.
Example of an original striped canvas trunk, a beautiful collector's item.
Another example of a L. Vuitton mail trunk whose canvas was torn off and the wood painted red. There is some LV stencilled canvas left on the top of the cover.
Leather is a noble material.
It is also a natural, living, very fragile and delicate material.
It can not withstand humidity and many trunks and suitcases are damaged.
Trunks with leather edges are the most popular. They still have to be in perfect condition. Cracks, lack of leather, cracks, There is no other alternative than to replace the leather.
A strong discount is then to be expected on these trunks to be restored.
A "fuzzy" black leather with a marbling effect is a clear sign, it is "advanced rotting" leather that needs to be changed.
Some leather trunks are too damaged.
For example, for this trunk, it will be necessary to replace all of the leather, which is a heavy and expensive restoration, sometimes more expensive than the price of the restored luggage.
These trunks are condemned.
Some unscrupulous restorers mix acrylic silicone with leather powder to create a paw and fill in holes and lack of leather.
A misery cache is of course DIY. Be careful therefore to inspect the leathers of the trunk you want.
The replacement of a leather element is an important restoration because they are fixed by hundreds of nails that will have to be removed.
It will be necessary to cover these elements with leather and rivet everything as originally.
The choice of leather, like hot stamping, is essential in order to be faithful to the origin and to patina it to obtain the perfect color.
This is the only solution to preserve its heritage and pass it on.
Leather has always been used for its extraordinary mechanical properties.
But the characteristics of it can be altered over the years. It is common for the handles to be torn off, broken.
"Cheap" handle in sheepskin (sheep leather)
It is a very "soft" low-end leather, easily recognizable by its poor quality stitching (machine stitching) and the non-existence of the marking border like the originals.
With a low-end finish.
Various examples of poor restoration of leather handles.
Many times we have seen seams that are said to be "saddle stitch" but which are obviously not. These points are reserved for the neophyte.
Here are some examples:
A: Back stitch
B: Double front stitch
These seams are not seams, at best hand-made lacing done outside the rules of the art and without comparison with the saddle stitch.
At vuitton, goyard and moynat the handles are in vegetable tanned cowhide leather, decorative hot stamping. Thick handles.
Example of a beautiful handle restoration for a Louis Vuitton trunk made in our malle2luxe workshops.
Saddle stitch stitch by stitch, always handmade, solid brass saddles (not brass-plated steel).
Example of a beautiful restoration of a Goyard Suitcase handle made in our workshops.
Louis Vuitton sheathed handle restored, color adjusted to the luggage.
Discover this restoration ...
Another example of a fine restoration of a Vuitton cabin trunk handle.
Made of vegetable tanned cowhide, very thick and very hard handle, it will not deform or break when you carry your luggage. of patinated and aged handles to match the original colors of the trunk.
The decorative borders are respected. It is the same leather that was originally used. we have kept the original Vuitton signed fasteners
Example of a Goyard leather box restored in our workshops on behalf of Maison Goyard Paris (Heritage department).
The leather tongue has been redone, patinated identically so as not to denote with the rest.
Lozine: Material obtained by stratification of cotton and cellulose fibers, after passing through a bath of zinc chloride and sulfuric acid.
The fluid is extracted by pressing, which makes it possible to bind the various fibers together without adding any binder.
Thanks to this process, lozine has extremely high mechanical strength, flexibility and stability, combined with low weight. Perfectly insulating, lozine guarantees perfect sealing of the luggage.
Modern Louis Vutton Lozine.
Example of Lozine unrestored trunk Louis Vuitton old Louis Vuitton.
They exist in several colors according to the series and according to the times, with different markings.
Certain first black series are original unmarked.
Not to be confused with flexoid - Oil resistant jointing.
Sold by some as lozine this product used in the automotive industry for its resistance to impregnation of engine oils.
Paper fibers impregnated with a gelatinous binder and plasticizer, low cost around 9 euros / M2
This modern low-end product has no place in the restoration of old collector's trunk.
All the STEEL parts (corner, square, lock, clasp, border, roulette ...) of a Louis Vuitton trunk are Lacquered in black or gold, there is no raw or polished part because the steel will rust.
More and more frequent, bad sellers customize their Louis Vuitton low and mid-range Moorish finish trunks to make them look like high-end trunks with aluminum trim.
It is a customization which consists in brushing the steel to remove the original black lacquer and reveal the white metal.
In the first case we are on the “low end” Moorish version of the brand, in the second in aluminum it is the “ultra high end” aluminum version.
Brushing is detrimental to the rating of your trunk just like the customization which distorts the original condition.
Examples of "generic" "Eco Range" parts of modern industrial or artisanal manufacture.
These spare parts, adaptable without any patina, are more or less faithful copies, reproduced without agreement with the brands, they are not authentic and the quality is different from the original one.
These copies are detrimental to the value of your collector's trunk .
In the long list of possible discounts is the replacement of original parts signed by the manufacturer.
Example on this Louis Vuitton trunk,
or the clasps have been replaced by a generic spare.
As in the field of restoration of furniture and antiques. The restoration must be done using traditional techniques,
sometimes slower, but more reliable, because they respect the object better.
the use of visible or hidden screws is excluded, for example.
This is incompatible with the know-how of traditional trunk makers.
These techniques considerably devalue the value of the trunk.
During a restoration the use of resin glue and other modern chemical product is to be avoided. The materials and products used must be in accordance with the year of the baggage to be restored.
Woodpaste fills holes, cracks but will not strengthen the barrel or wooden slats. Only a structural restoration, the aim of which is to replace the damaged wood, is a lasting restoration. We therefore never use wood filler on the restorations of our trunks.
And finally to finish, "the Pompon " is to combine bad taste & customization, called "trunk tuning" the discounts are the non respect:
Do not confuse customization, and "authentic theme trunk" produced by its manufacturer. Example, this picnic trunk from the 1910s made by Louis Vuitton and of inestimable value.
This Alzer Louis Vuitton suitcase which has been fitted with wooden slats to look like a trunk . This modification completely devalues the suitcase.
In this Louis Vuitton Mahogany automobile box, the interior was personalized. Pure fictional product, the interior being non-removable and irreversible, it therefore loses all collector's value
Another example of a "theme trunk", manufactured by Louis Vuitton.
Interior has been redone in our workshops. Arrangement in accordance with the origin, design, color, finish, made with materials of the same nature (leather, coated canvas, wood, nails). This Louis Vuitton wardrobe trunk keeps its collection rating.
Called Frankenstein, this trunk is an assembly of real pieces from different periods (lock, handles, clasps), with new PVC canvas. No collection value.
There is no Louis Vuitton trunk with a leather border and a steel corner.
Atypical model, domed like the old Louis Vuitton trunks but unfortunately there has never been a domed trunk with an LV canvas.
In addition, this is a PVC canvas. It seems that it has been rebuilt, in part, with the elements of an authentic Alzer Louis Vuitton suitcase. In this specific case the model is imaginary, although all the pieces are authentic, has no collector's value.
Another example of a personalized trunk, hotel labels, are most of the time real hotel labels stuck to hide defects, sometimes they are downright false (printed with a printer).
More and more used by merchants. The labels are rare and never in good condition, because printed in serigraphy on low-end paper, the color tarnished and the paper does not support humidity (reversible glue like postage stamps).
there is hardly any on the face of the trunk (face on the lock side), nor on the back. They are mainly found on the sides and sometimes on the top in small numbers, but very very rarely.
We note that 70% of the labels are added, to facilitate the sale, by hiding defects, or just to invent a story.
Aviator's trunks in copper, stainless steel, brass, zinc or modern replica are very popular with decorators for a "loft / industrial" atmosphere. These are contemporary trunks that are less than 10 years old. Riding on the fashion of the collection and travel trunk, they have no patina, no history. It is by no means a collector's trunk. For these reasons these trunks therefore have only a very low value between 200 and 500 euros.
Budding artists replace interior or exterior canvases with very bad taste.
Louis Vuitton trunk interior, personalized with striped cloth.
Nothing to do with the original interior.
The personalization of the canvas by colored bands has been used since the appearance of the first Louis Vuitton, Goyard and Moynat luggage.
This allowed its owners to quickly locate their luggage on carts, car, stage coach, cruise ship, station platform ...
Likewise, personalization by initials, logo,
coat of arms, crown do not lose value in the luggage.
They don't earn any either, unless they prove membership in a known person, or nobility.
However, when they are redone and not original, they are a real loss
We estimate that 70% of the bands called "stables" these decorative bands are counterfeit.
We estimate that 98% of crowns or coats of arms are counterfeit.
Bad, malicious trunk restorers paint false initials, hotel labels, bands, coats of arms or royal crowns ...
These decorations have the sole purpose of deceiving the buyer to create a story in the trunk and make it more "authentic" and attractive.
Beware of beautiful stories ...
Example of a suitcase with 4 Goyard shoes, restored in our handle and interior workshops.
* These observations contained in this buying guide, are the conclusions of results in auction rooms around the world, the opinion of experts and collectors in old luxury trunk.
You have recovered a trunk in an attic, you have bought a trunk that you display in your living room. How to use and maintain it without damaging it. Precautions for use.
Guide d'achat d'une malle de luxe : French page
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