The Courrier trunk

The mail trunks are generally between 45 and 55 cm high. Originally, this category of luggage owes its name to the post trunk, the most used means of public transport to travel from one city to another during the 19th century. Behind this carriage was a rounded rectangular chest of the same dimensions as a mail trunk from the 1900s and covered with a thick leather called "cow", skin very resistant to bad weather.

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These trunks were mainly used by men, because of medium size and very practical. A mail trunk can contain up to 2 frames, always fitted with canvas straps to hold clothes and sometimes compartmentalized to carry a collar, a cane, a hat, etc. Relatively light trunks, we often find leather handles on these models, as well as two loops on the front and back to hold the strap.

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Use today?

Today it is one of the most used models in interior decoration with ideal dimensions as a coffee table or at the end of a bed and offering great storage convenience.

 

The cabin trunk

Most often measuring 33cm in height, the cabin trunk appeared at the beginning of transatlantic voyages, because its measurements corresponded perfectly to the height of the beds in an ocean liner cabin. This luggage was designed to allow travelers to easily and simply carry all their belongings, without ever fear of being stolen or losing them. In this small space, customers could keep most of their clothing for traveling and ensure some protection of their personal effects , well hidden in the locked trunk and stored under the bed.

A handle on the front is often found on cabin models. Originally used to pull the trunk stored under the bed, it also facilitates the handling of the many pieces of luggage stacked high, on arrival or departure of a steamer or a train. The Moynat house systematically added this third handle to its Cabin trunks, to show that their products were naturally designed for a transatlantic journey, the ultimate test for a trunk sometimes stored in damp places and handled without great care.

 

The Hat trunk

For a woman as for a man, it was unthinkable at the time, to travel without his hat. However, these accessories quickly became very cumbersome during a trip, at a time when traveling was excessively expensive. The craze for these accessories in the 1900s offers us today a very large number of luggage dedicated to hats of all types. These trunk, of all shapes, could sometimes contain up to sixty different copies.

For men, small trunks were preferred, cubic shapes and compartmentalized in three distinct parts: In the luggage cover, there are two fastening straps allowing the maintenance of the boater (straw hat) specific to the countryside. Inside the tank, there is a first removable frame in which a circular space is provided to hold the town hat called “bowler”. Finally, it is an assembly of 3 braided cords stretched in the bottom of the trunk, come to marry the shape of a top hat evening hats. Thanks to this arrangement, the curve of the bowler hat fits inside the inverted top hat, while the boater maintains the frame once the trunk is closed. It was 1900, the must have for a gentleman.

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Three hats were obviously not enough for women of that time, which is why they traveled with much larger trunks, and often fitted with a removable ribboned cage on which the client could directly attach her hats. Depending on the size of the luggage, customers could carry from 5 to 60 hats, without ever fearing during the trip, that the shapes are too bulky or the materials too delicate. For these elegant women, Louis Vuitton used to offer small monogram boxes containing fixing ribbons.

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The High trunk ( intermediate size )

Much higher than mail trunks, tall trunks (also called "intermediate size" in period catalogs) measure between 60 to 80 cm in height. This very massive luggage was mainly used and ordered for long distance trips requiring a lot of space. They were generally fitted out with three or even four interior frames and offered a particularly large number of storage spaces to their owners.

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These very heavy models are most often equipped with metal or brass handles, to ensure perfect strength. It was also impossible for the client to travel with this type of luggage without porters. During a transatlantic trip, these trunks were too large to be stored in the passenger cabins, so they were mostly hold trunks, often exposed to the most extreme conditions.

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Anecdote: the fourth frame was feared by housekeepers of the time because they were often victims of its depth, and fell into the trunk while catching it.

 

The Automobile trunk

Automotive trunks are widely distinguished from other luggage, with very particular shapes, colors or specificities. At the beginning of the 1900s, each car had to be equipped with a specific trunk, fixed at the rear, on the foot step or on the roof of the roof. The vast majority of automotive trunks have been custom made for a car. Depending on the customer's needs and the specifics of his car (the shape of the hood, the roof, the trunk) the trunk maker will manufacture a trunk that can naturally fit the desired location.

The trunk luggage are the most famous models, a large, slightly rounded trunk with an opening in the front and containing 3 or even 4 removable suitcases for storing clothes. Covered with a waterproof coated canvas made from gutta percha, once arrived at the hotel, the customer could simply retrieve his protected suitcases, and leave the trunk securely attached to his car. There are also the flag trunks, very long and particularly light, which are distinguished by a slightly curved bottom. At that time, the chassis of cars was particularly fragile and this curve made it possible to balance the load of the contents of the trunk placed on the roof, from left to right.