A collector since his childhood, Gaston-Louis Vuitton (1883–1970), the third generation of the legendary design family and grandson of the founder of the luxury brand, accumulated hundreds of objects over his lifetime. In addition to building a collection of trunks his roving eye lit upon rare antique travel articles, locks and escutcheons, hand tools, perfume bottles, African masks, walking canes, vintage children’s toys, books, hotel labels (usually affixed to customers’ trunks), printed monograms, and other typographical rarities. Together they form a rich personal evocation of curiosités industrielles, or quirks of the trade, as Gaston-Louis liked to call them.
This publication, illustrated with hundreds of specially commissioned photographs, is a privileged tour of a sophisticate’s cabinet of curiosities. It will capture the imagination of anyone inspired by bizarre and eclectic curiosities, or those with an interest in the Art Deco period. The book itself will exhibit the highest design and production values for discerning international voyagers with an eye for quality in their books as well as their brands.
Page after page of Gaston’s collection—much of which is of negligible monetary value—reveals a cross-section of the aesthetic and material concerns of a highly cultured European, the likes of which are rarely seen in such comprehensive, unsparing detail… It’s an esoteric, oddly personal collection of objects, one that evinces the hobbies and preferences of Vuitton better than any hagiography ever could.
Patrick Mauriees is a Paris-based writer of many notable titles on fashion and design. Among his previous books are Maison Goossens: Haute Couture Jewelry, Jewelry by Chanel, and Androgyne, all published by Thames & Hudson.