Hemingway Library Trunk to Auction


A monogram canvas library trunk with brass metal hardware, circa 1930. Estimate: €10,000 – 15,000

The largest private collection of Louis Vuitton trunks ever offered at auction will also feature special trunks designed for transporting books.

Featuring more than 100 examples, with a total sale estimate of between €1.4 million and €2.1 million, among the offerings is a travelling library trunk for books. Louis Vuitton designed a number of library trunks including one for transporting the 21 volume, 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica in 1910, and the first vertical library trunk in 1923, designed to hold more than 60 different books.  

The Hemingway Library Trunk was first designed in 1927 by Gaston-Louis Vuitton for Ernest Hemingway as a travel library, unfolding in two parts. Available in several variants, one of these versions, a yellow Vuittonite Library Trunk with drawers and space for a typewriter, will be going under the virtual hammer at Christie's' online sale running June 19 through July 3.   

From 1896, the Monogram canvas was introduced, succeeding the checkerboard, or Damier, and Rayee, or striped, canvases. A model from the 1920s to 1930s appearing in the auction features stationery compartments and a folding table - called the Stokowski Trunk, it was first designed for the conductor Leopold Stokowski to match his work and travel habits, with a door and removable table for a typewriter and storage spaces for manuscripts and books.

Among other special orders at the auction is a Mail Trunk from the collection of French banker and philanthropist Albert Kahn who devoted much of his life and fortune to traveling the world to document and promote cultural diversity. Also in the sale is one of the trunks acquired by the actor John Moffat, alias Hercule Poirot, from the 1930s. This Trunk Armoire in monogram canvas has six drawers and hangers, and prominently features a Monogrammed exterior.