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Louis Vuitton Rayee Trunk Restored

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Trunks887 of 2625Antique Lectern Pulpit Podium Canvas and Leather Wooden Trunk
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    Posted 5 years ago

    randallbar…
    (35 items)

    This Louis Vuitton trunk came to us in pretty rough shape as you can see in the first two photos. The bottom panels and foundation were, for the most part, completely rotted and offered little to no structural integrity to the piece so before any cleaning or restoration could take place, it was important to rebuild the bottom of the trunk. The hours of carefully sanding each slat and then the rigorous work of shinning nail heads and lock plates with steel wool could have caused further damage to the trunk had we not first fortified it. Further, the interior had thick mold attached to about a third of all the walls which was first on the agenda to remove and kill before a new bottom could be attached. So....masks on, scrapers and sanders in hand, we stripped the old lining away and then blasted it with a blend of chemicals that created black clouds which seeped from the walls of our shop (well, that's a bit of drama but...) Once finally cleaned, we were ready to install the bottom with planks of poplar, then sealant, then paint, then canvas, followed by building the foundation of more poplar and oak strips. NOW the structure is tight and solid. Soap and water repeated scrubs on the exterior finally removed years of dust and dirt and the stripes began to shine through although some areas were worn to the bone with no color left underneath at all. Interior corners were cloth-taped for support before installing the off-white cotton drill and, happy that we had taken the extra time to carefully remove the LV label intact, it was re-attached with my initials penciled onto the backside, along with the date of our work. Hopefully, it will be a few hundred years before anyone sees these notations, if ever.

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    Comments

    1. newcollector633 newcollector633, 5 years ago
      Bravo! Randall, I am not sure if you are aware that this is the exact piece I posted to Show and Tell some 8 months ago, having come to me by my fiancé, Curtis, who found it in one of several storage units purchased by a friend and given to him to "clean out". At that time, we were not sure what to do with this wonderful find, but after learning a little of the history of LV trunks, and realizing that this piece was very early (as indicated by the label and the number 3206), our decision was to sell the trunk in hopes that a lover of LV trunks would purchase it and give it the care and attention it so deserved. This trunk was a Hurricane Katrina survivor and as best we could ascertain had been in the storage unit for many years before and 11 years after that terrible August morning in 2005 until Curtis rescued it. Back when I posted this find to Show and Tell, you commented that it wasn't 95 times worse than the LV trunk you had just restored...I wonder if you still feel that way..haha. It is so ironic to me that this particular trunk made its way to you to be restored, and I cannot express to you my elation when I was asked by the buyer to ship it directly to you. I want to personally thank you for bringing this trunk back to life. This is a very special piece, and even though it has a new owner and a new home, it will always have a very special place in our hearts. You are truly amazing!! Please never stop doing what you do.
    2. lisag6, 5 years ago
      Thank you newcollector633 and Curtis for finding this treasure - and thank you, Randall for bringing her back to life! So excited to have this wonderful piece!!!
    3. randallbarbera randallbarbera, 5 years ago
      Thank you both! So happy that we had the chance to work on this important trunk.

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