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Special Louis Vuitton Restoration

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Trunks1159 of 2625Stunning 1890 Sea chest, embellished with hardwareMy 1800s steamer trunk?
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    Posted 6 years ago

    (35 items)

    When we were first approached by a high-ranking director for this well known California family, recognized world-wide primarily in the world of publishing (among other holdings) to restore a series of very old and historically significant Louis Vuitton trunks, we had mixed thoughts. They had all been in storage for decades (centuries?) and were teaming with furry, fluffy, caked on white and gray toxic mold, inside and out. Torn and missing chunks of un-gettable LV cloth coverings were also part of the challenge, not mentioning deep water damage that had rotted sections of underlying wood. Luckily, we do have a building with a "quarantine chamber" and were able to move these pieces in and out and into direct sunlight to kill as much of the toxic spores as naturally possible. And when that didn't completely do the trick, we started daily bombardments of chemicals ..bye-bye mold! The one pictured, no doubt a custom made LV, was MASSIVE. 43 wide x 27 tall and with the two elaborate removable trays, weighed in at 50 tons!..(no, not really, but it took two of us to lift or move, every time). We removed the rotted bottom, carefully replaced each panel of hardwood, scraped, wire-wheeled and sanded the zinc bottom sheet (and added clear-coat) before adding the maple outlining slats, framing the bottom assembly. We used our special "varnish sauce" to restore all exterior surface after more rigorous cleaning, shined up those wonderful LV brass nail heads, cut a new VERY LONG belt, sewed in a solid brass buckle and VOILA!...three months later, this one was ready for display. (Don't want to bore you with how much fun it was to re-line this trunk, and the trays, and, and, and..... Viva la France!

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    1. Celiene Celiene, 6 years ago
      AMAZING restoration! Almost unbelieveable what you have done! Are you going to post interiors as well?? (Please!)
    2. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 6 years ago
      Well, I'm impressed ! In my experience, that says a lot, if you know what I mean.
    3. racer4four racer4four, 6 years ago
      Exceptional trunk and restoration. Congratulations.
    4. trunkman trunkman, 6 years ago
      A real work of art and craftsmanship to bring this back to life -- congrats!
    5. randallbarbera randallbarbera, 6 years ago
      Thanks you guys! We really do enjoy working on French made trunks and we're happy to hear from others who have these trunks in need of restoration too!
    6. jscott0363 jscott0363, 6 years ago
      Absolutely and totally stunning!! Incredible magic you've worked on this.
    7. Drill Drill, 6 years ago
      Randall Magnifique chef-d'oeuvre! Mr. Vuitton would be surely be pleased.

      Some advertising for LV crowd and some rare images

      Enjoy, hope they all post keep up the splendid work.
    8. newcollector633 newcollector633, 6 years ago
      Your talent and love of the same shine through in your pieces. You make me know that it is possible, I am just not so sure I will be able to do my Louis Vuitton Steamer justice. It seems to be identical to this one, but I'm sure mine is damaged about 95 times worse. As you mentioned in your reply to trunkman, you wanted to hear from those of us who had these in need of restoration. I would value your opinion as to whether it is wise to take on such a difficult project just starting out...or is it better left to experts like you?!?
    9. randallbarbera randallbarbera, 6 years ago
      Hi Newcollector,
      Thanks for your kind words! I don't think your LV is 95X worse and could be restored beautifully. I can tell you that it took many years before I would attempt to restore an LV because when working on a trunk which values this high, there isn't much margin of error. Personally, I would recommend having a professional do the work.

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