Published on August 26, 2007
For more than 150 years, Louis Vuitton has been associated with travelling and back in the late 1800s, rich adventurers used the French malletier's trunks as their beds, wardrobes and desks as well as for storing picnics.
Louis Vuitton has declared 2007 as the "Year of Travel" and is celebrating the occasion with "Travels and Travellers", an exhibition showcasing rare antique wardrobe trunks and luggage made in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
The 16 antique trunks from Louis Vuitton Museum Collection in Asnieres, Paris, are on displays at Gaysorn until next Sunday before leaving for a tour around the Asia Pacific region.
The oldest, which dates back to 1885, is a Bed Trunk made for Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, an explorer who voyaged frequently to Africa, notably the Congo, where he discovered the city of Brazzaville in 1880. The bed trunk had a horsehair mattress that fitted on top on a folding frame and was easily transportable.
Special Trunk, 1904, is representative of the metal trunks (copper, zinc and aluminium) that thanks to a tumbler and joint system prevented humidity and insects penetrating inside. Louis Vuitton made trunks like this for de Brazza for his voyages in Africa.
The Wardrobe Trunk, developed in 1875, was a tremendous commercial success. A wardrobe space combined with a series of drawers enabled the trunk to carry both suits and undergarments. The model on show at the event, marked with red and white stripes, belonged to the Prince de Polignac.
The Picnic Trunk, Monogram canvas 1926, made for a member of the Egyptian Royal Family, protected the contents against dust and insects and is packed with elegant tableware in silver, porcelain and crystal.
The Stokowski Desk Trunk, Monogram canvas, 1996, was the first desk designed in the early 1930s for the American conductor, Leopold Stokowski. This true travelling desk includes a space for typewriter, books, drawers for scores and hanging files. A worktable folds out alongside the door. The desk trunk is still made today.
At the opening reception, Louis Vuitton artisan Joseph Leor demonstrated his consummate skills in leather goods and trunk making, much to the delight of guests.
Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana graciously presided over the opening event.
Other Louis Vuitton admirers included Predanond Bangitayanond, Korakot Srivikorn, Thirayuth and Chanadda Chirathivat, Nuchanart Visudhpol, MR Teesadej Rachanee, Khunying Natthika Angubolkul, Janista Lewchalermvongse, ML Rojanatorn Na Songkhla and Inthira Thanavisuth.