How to Find Out the Age and History of Your Louis Vuitton Trunk
If you own a vintage Louis Vuitton trunk, you might be curious about its origin and history. How old is it? Where was it made? Who was the original owner? These are some of the questions that can be answered by looking at the serial number and other features of your trunk. Here are some tips on how to date and authenticate your old Louis Vuitton trunk using the serial number lookup and other clues.
What is a Serial Number and Where to Find It?
A serial number is a unique identification code that Louis Vuitton started using in the early 1980s to indicate when and where the bag or trunk was made[^1^]. The serial number is usually composed of two letters and four numbers, such as AR1108. The letters indicate the country of manufacture, and the numbers indicate the week and year of production. For example, AR1108 means that the trunk was made in France on the 10th week of 2018.
The serial number can be found on a leather tab or a paper label inside the trunk, depending on the model and year. Sometimes, it can be illegible or missing due to wear and tear or tampering. In that case, you can try to contact Louis Vuitton customer service and provide them with photos and proof of ownership of your trunk. They might be able to give you the date of manufacture based on their archive records[^2^]. However, this can take several months and is not guaranteed.
What Other Features Can Help Date Your Trunk?
Besides the serial number, there are other features that can help you date your trunk more precisely. These include:
The outer coated canvas: Louis Vuitton has changed the design and material of its canvas over the years to fight against counterfeits. The first trunks were made of gray Trianon canvas, followed by striped canvas, checkerboard canvas, monogram canvas, plain Vuittonite canvas, and PVC coated canvas[^2^]. The type and style of the canvas can give you an idea of the era of your trunk.
The lock number: On the brass locks of your trunk, you can find a key number that is specific to a customer and allows them to order a replacement key in case of loss. The lock number can also indicate the time of manufacture of your trunk, although there are some exceptions[^2^].
The engraving on the lock and clasps: The engraving on the brass hardware of your trunk has also evolved over time. At first, there was nothing, then the address of the shops, then the initials LV on some elements, and finally the LV logo in a circle that is still used today[^2^]. The number of grooves on a lock is also a way of dating your trunk.
The inner label: The inner label of your trunk is a rich source of information. The design and color of this label have changed over time. The first ones were large paper labels with a stamped or punched serial number. The following ones were smaller embossed paper labels with a colored window showing the serial number printed on the canvas. Some labels were golden or had more information than others. The latest ones are simple beige plastic or leather labels with no other information than the name Louis Vuitton[^2^].
How to Authenticate Your Trunk?
While looking at the serial number and other features can help you date your trunk, they are not enough to authenticate it. Counterfeiters can fake or copy these elements and make them look convincing. Therefore, you should always seek the opinion of a professional authentication service that can check many different points of your trunk to verify its authenticity. You can find some reputable authentication service providers here[^1^].
Remember that a serial number does not guarantee the authenticity of your trunk, nor does it indicate its value. The value of your trunk depends on many factors, such as its condition, rarity, size, style, provenance, and market demand. If you want to appraise your trunk, you should consult an expert appraiser who can give you an accurate estimate based on these criteria.