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At home with the Orient Express

It tells stories of adventurous transatlantic journeys during the cosmopolitan 1920s, and is reminiscent of the glamour of the Belle Epoque and the elegance of high society in cities such as Paris and New York. Historic luggage, such as the Louis Vuitton travel wardrobe that belonged to Miss Maurine Watkins, the author of the famous Broadway musical ‘Chicago’, is all restored to its former glittering glory at Burggraf und Graf zu Dohna - Schobitten.

Collectors and admirers from all over the world today appreciate this nostalgic charm, and use the luggage pieces as original furnishing items - with their interesting patina and distinctive features, they make tasteful side tables or they can be turned into a stylish bar or an unusual humidor. The elegant travel wardrobes can still be used as a unique wardrobe, exclusive bar cabinet or simply as a decorative storage unit for some beloved memorabilia.

These elaborately restored cases, trunks and travel wardrobes from luxury labels such as Hermès, Goyard and Louis Vuitton, still appeal, even today, with their timeless elegance and excellent workmanship. Already Coco Chanel, Ernest Hemingway and the Kennedys swore by the quality and exclusiveness of these travel accessories. Small stickers from grand hotels - often themselves rare miniature works of art in art deco and art nouveau style - left on those pieces of luggage are a testimony to their former owners’ stays at Europe’s top hotels, and show that only the best was good enough for them. Travellers using this kind of luggage would stay at the Ritz, travel on the Orient Express and book a first-class passage across the Atlantic.

The man of the world would never travel without his bespoke luggage collection and nowadays these items from the romantic age of travel can fetch big prices at the big auctions at Sotheby's and Christie's.

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Text: J. Philip Rathgen / BGGDS
Photos: Antikes Reisegepäck

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