More Than 100 Louis Vuitton Trunks Are Heading to Auction

The Louis Vuitton trunk is one of the most iconic luxury items, beloved by everyone from Ernest Hemingway to Tyler, the Creator. Over the years, one intense collector has amassed more than 100 versions of the marque’s signature case—and they’re finally ready to part with the traveling valises.

Next month, Christie’s will offer the largest private collection of Louis Vuitton trunks to ever come to auction. Called Legendary Trunks: A European Private Collection, the auction is estimated to bring in a whopping 1.4 million euros to 2.1 million euros ($1.5 million to $2.3 million).

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A 2021 trunk designed by Virgil Abloh ($54,000 to $76,000)
A 2021 trunk designed by Virgil Abloh ($54,000 to $76,000)

The collection includes Louis Vuitton pieces from soon after the label’s founding in 1854 as well as contemporary versions created by the likes of Virgil Abloh. One of the earliest examples is a 1900 wardrobe trunk with a copper exterior, the material allowing the contents to be shielded from heat, humidity, and moisture. A malle bureau from the 1920s or 1930s shows off the timeless LV monogram, while inside there are stationery compartments and a folding table for writing. Fast-forward to 2021, and you get Abloh’s version of the monogram on a lemon-yellow and white trunk ($54,000 to $76,000).

Gourmands will delight to find a couple of food-themed trunks among the offerings: A shiny brown alligator valise circa 1980 contains a caviar set with four shot glasses ($33,000 to $43,000). And a monogrammed canvas trunk from 2004 was specially made to hold a birthday cake, a cake cutter, and a set of forks ($22,000 to $33,000).

A caviar trunk from 1980 ($33,000 to $43,000)
A caviar trunk from 1980 ($33,000 to $43,000)

Elsewhere, bibliophiles may enjoy a version of Louis Vuitton’s library trunk, initially designed for Hemingway. The circa-1930 version being brought to auction at Christie’s is a monogrammed trunk with a yellow interior plus space for a typewriter ($11,000 to $16,000). And if you’re a shoe lover, the Lily Pons shoe trunk, named after the opera singer, can hold an impressive 36 pairs of heels, loafers, or your preferred podiatric style ($22,000 to $33,000).

The online auction kicks off June 19 and runs through July 3, with the collection on view to the public in Paris from June 19 to June 24.

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