In the realm of luxury goods, nothing quite matches Louis Vuitton. To say that this French company is well-known is an understatement. They are instantly recognizable on the level of the Golden Arches and a certain mouse. Louis Vuitton, however, is part of something bigger than either of those two companies combined. LVMH Moet Hennessey – Louis Vuitton, Louis Vuitton’s parent company, is worth a staggering $438 billion dollars. Part of this immense value comes from the simple fact that Louis Vuitton items are of incredibly high quality. In addition, they have been sought after for a century and a half.

Louis Vuitton wardrobe trunk. French. Mid 20th century.

Early History

Louis Vuitton was founded by none other than Mr. Louis Vuitton. Louis began working in the trunk-making business in 1837, and opened his first shop in Paris in 1854. His factory moved to Asnieres-sur-Seine in 1859. He enjoyed immediate success, and was soon producing travel trunks for the wealthy and powerful of France and Europe. Travel trunks, or “steamer trunks”, were a huge business in the mid 19th century.

Travel was often a long and arduous process by coach or ship. A well-built trunk was absolutely necessary to keep clothes clean and valuables safe. Louis Vuitton’s trunks were state of the art, and this dedication to quality continued throughout the 19th century. In 1886, Louis and his son, Georges, designed a better lock for Vuitton trunks. This lock cemented the company’s place at the top of the heap. Louis passed away in 1892. In 1896, George introduced the famous Monogram Canvas. The instantly recognizable “LV” monogram and quatrefoil was a fitting testament to his beloved father.

Louis Vuitton Wooden Trunk. French, ca. 1860s - 1870s.

“The Bag”

The company continued to make trunks and other objects, such as bags, for the rich and powerful throughout the 20th century. In recent decades, Louis Vuitton has become more universally known for their designer bags, like the Weekend Bag and Wallet, almost always made in the brown Monogram Canvas. These bags are well known, and continue to be made. While Louis Vuitton does work with artists and designers for individual pieces and product lines, their traditional bags are by far their most popular items.

Louis Vuitton Tote and makeup Bags. French. Contemporary.

Louis Vuitton: Present & Future

In 1989, Louis Vuitton joined with Moet Hennessey to create LVMH, which has become one of the most valuable companies on the planet. The company has since acquired other fashion houses, including Gucci, Dior, and Fendi. As LVMH continues to grow and acquire market share, Louis Vuitton has become bigger and more sought after. The future looks bright for this company, which began as a Parisian trunk shop all those years ago.

Louis Vuitton steamer trunk. French. Early 20th century.

Louis Vuitton at Nest Egg Auctions

Nest Egg Auctions has sold a few Louis Vuitton bags, and we are always excited to see them come through our auction. We have a specialty, however, in Louis Vuitton steamer trunks and travel wardrobes. We have sold a number of these, and we get very good prices for them. Our record price for a Louis Vuitton trunk came in 2016, when we sold an early 20th century trunk for nearly $10,000. A Louis Vuitton trunk is at the perfect intersection of antique and fashion, with a vintage style that reminds the viewer of the days of fashionable ocean travel as well as proclaiming luxury with the characteristic Monogram Canvas on the exterior.

Selling Louis Vuitton at Nest Egg Auctions

Have Louis Vuitton items that you'd like to sell? Nest Egg Auctions would love to sell it for you for the highest price!