From the earliest times of civilisation man has travelled, as time progressed large trunks and chests packed full of ones possessions were loaded onto horse drawn carriages or sailing ships to make long voyages from Europe or Asia to far away unexplored lands.
The style of travellers trunk we know today originated from the latter part of the 18th century. The earliest examples were constructed of pine or similar softwoods and covered with hide or leather and were usually produced by furniture makers so vaguely resembled furniture of the period. Into the early 19th century a waterproof material was used or they were covered in decoratively fabrics, canvas and even hammered tin, finished with locks and various hardware depending on the quality on the trunk.
|2 English trunks circa 1860 with provenance, available from www.leestanton.com|
|Leather Heavily Brass studded trunk circa 1850 available from www.trovegallery.com|
Over the next 100 years people began to travel more and trunks began to be widely produced some being purposely designed to carry various cargo, anything from travelling wardrobes fitted with drawers and hanging space, to dome top trunks fitted with trays to carry valuable silver flatware.
|Oak Silver chest circa 1890 available from www.dixonlaneantiques.1stdibs.com|
|Louis Vuitton Trunk/Wardrobe circa 1920's available from www.richardnortoninc.1stdibs.com|
As the 20th century arrived luggage also began to become a fashion accessory for the wealthy traveller and luggage became more lavish and stylish. The best luggage makers were French, with names such as Louis Vuitton, Goyard & Hermes fitting out the most fashionable and wealthy travellers with a wide selection of luggage suitable for all their needs, from Shoe trunks to Hat boxes. These historic stores still produce top quality luggage to this day.
|Goyard Hat Trunk circa 1920's available from www.1stdibs.com|
|4 Pieces of vintage Louis Vuitton Luggage circa 1920's - 50's available from www.essex-antiquarians.com|
|A superb Giant cigar trunk by Louis Vuiton available from www.pullmangallery.com|
Vintage luggage today is sought after and commands exceptionally high prices, its rarely used for its purpose but now used as Occasional & Coffee tables, interior decoration and shop fitting. Whatever its use, I adore the style and quality of these pieces the more I get to see them the better !!