Skip to content

Finer Things

Legendary Luggage

A landmark sale of Louis Vuitton trunks is coming to Christie’s—portable caviar bar included.

Louis Vuitton revolutionized luxury travel in 1858 with his flat, stackable trunks made from lightweight, waterproof materials. Not only did they stand up to rough handling, Wanamaker’s once claimed they gave “more character to the traveler than fine clothes.”

Fast forward to today, and the brand’s monogrammed trunks remain both immensely coveted and surprisingly practical. Take the Ideal Trunk, crafted in cowhide with brass locks: a masterpiece of organization, it stores shoes, hats, and scarves with Tetris-like precision. Open its compartments like a toolbox, and it’s ready for a week-long business trip to Hong Kong.

One of these—along with close to 100 other notable trunks—is up for grabs at Christie’s Paris through July 3, in an online sale representing the largest auction ever of these luggage  masterpieces. All come from a single private European collection; some date back to the early 1900s, others to as recently as 2021. According to Lucile Andreani, Christie’s Director of Handbags for Europe and the Middle East, this “rare and comprehensive assembly” represents “a landmark event in luxury auction history.”

Louis Vuitton box trunk with pink interior designed specially to hold a birthday cake, cutting knives, and knives and forks;
Bubble-gum-pink-lined box specially designed to hold a birthday cake, cutting knife, knives, and forks: estimated to fetch between €20,000 and €30,000. Photo courtesy of Christie’s
Louis Vuitton trunk with croquet set
Fancy summer games of croquet? This special order from 2008 contains a complete set for eight players. Photo courtesy of Christie’s
Brown alligator box Louis Vuitton trunk containing caviar set
When your caviar needs to travel. Alligator caviar box set with gold hardward; estimated price €30,000 to €40,000. Photo courtesy of Christie’s

Among the iconic pieces, several standouts epitomize luxury-at-any-price. A shiny Alligator Trunk reveals a caviar set and four shot glasses inside—the embodiment of 1980s excess (estimate: €30,000–€40,000). A monogrammed box with a bubble-gum pink interior was designed just to hold a birthday cake, cutting knife, knives, and forks (estimate: €20,000–€30,000).

Just last year, three hard-sided suitcases belonging to André Leon Talley fetched a whopping $94,500.

A plush croquet set, equipped with gear for eight (estimate: €40,000–€80,000), would be the perfect accessory for a posh Hamptons lawn party. A Casino Trunk has all the accouterments for high-stakes poker, blackjack, and roulette tucked inside. (The style still retails for $173,000. Put in a bid, and you might get it for slightly less).

Louis Vuitton library trunk with Underwood Standard portable typewriter.
A canvas library trunk in the style of the Hemingway Trunk comes with an Underwood Standard portable typewriter. (Estimate €8,000 to €10,000.) Photo courtesy of Christie’s
Pile of six Louis Vuitton trunks
The collection of over 100 trunks—the largest ever offered at auction—spans nearly two centuries of the iconic label’s history. Photo courtesy of Christie’s
Canvas Louis Vuitton desk trunk for linen and shoes
Canvas desk trunk for linen and shoes with brass hardware, circa 1920, estimated to sell for €15,000 to €20,000. Photo courtesy of Christie’s

Brace yourself, though: Louis Vuitton luggage often sells for well above estimate. Just last year, three hard-sided suitcases belonging to André Leon Talley fetched a whopping $94,500 on a high estimate of $4,000.

Christie’s already holds the auction record for a Louis Vuitton trunk: a 1892 aluminum explorer that sold for £162,500 in London in 2018 (also way above its high estimate). This auction features a rare copper explorer’s wardrobe from around 1920. Will it set a new record? We’ll be watching.

Christie’s Legendary Trunks auction runs online from June 19–July 3. If you’re in Paris, you can see the collection in person from June 19–24 at Christie’s Paris, 9 Av. Matignon, 75008.

Hero photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Paris Hilton at the Vanity Fair Oscar party, 2024
Looking Good

Why Does Paris Hilton Still Look 25?

You’ll be surprised to learn the lengths some A-Listers go to to look their best.

Hot Topic

Classic Car EVs: Smart or Sinful?

Vintage autos are now able to go electric. But should they?


Can Your Home Make You Live Longer?

Today’s houses aren’t just smart—they practically have medical degrees.

Mentalist Matt Cooper
Daisy Loves . . .

Mind Reader

For Upper East Siders, mentalist Matt Cooper is the latest hot party trick. But he can’t really know what you’re thinking. Can he?


Join us for the party

Join us for the party