Ruth Serlachius’ trunk ”Vuittonite Orange 1900” – made in France

One of the treasures in the Serlachius Museums’ object collection is the orange trunk. Renowned French company Louis Vuitton has manufactured it. The model of the trunk ”Vuittonite Orange 1900” refers to the stain and water resistant canvas. In fact, they used this material on Vuitton’s trunks from the turn of the century to 1920‘s. As a result, trunks covered with orange Vuittonite canvas are nowadays rather rare and therefore appreciated by collectors.

The trunk of the Serlachius Museums has originally belonged to Ruth Serlachius who was married to Gösta Serlachius in 1919. At the same time the Ruth’s initials consolidated to R and S. The same initials stand at the side of the trunk. On the basis of their appearance one can time the trunk to the final end of manufacturing history of the Vuittonite Orange 1900.

In addition to the hand-painted initials, the trunk of Ruth Serlachius is full of exquisite, considered details. The trunk’s corners have bee coated with leather guards. Furthermore, also the end- handles are made of leather. On the base there are small and almost undetectable rolling casters for easy mobility. The trunk closes with a lock and two latches on all of which the manufacturer’s name or monogram LV has been engraved. The lock also reveals that the trunks are numbered items and made in France. They have efficiently divided the cream color linen interior into compartments with superimposable trays and cages. Trunk has received a few bumps during the years but it has kept mrs Serlachius’ travelling clothes in immaculate condition.

The trunk that Louis Vuitton has manufactured tells about the time when people on all great journeys travelled on steamboat. The trunk lets us presume that so did Ruth Serlachius. Indeed, someone has attached to the trunk’s side is a blue-white tag of Finland’s Steamship Company (Finska Ångfartygs Aktiebolaget F.Å.A.) that used to operate in Helsinki.

Suvi-Mari Eteläinen

Ruth Serlachius Trunk. Serlachius Museums Collections.
Ruth Serlachius Trunk. Serlachius Museums Collections.