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Encyclopaedia Britannica Louis Vuitton Cambridge Trunk Circa 1911

A very unusual, circa 1911 Louis Vuitton trunk, commissioned specially by the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Cambridge Circa 1911.

Extract from the book 100 Legendary Trunks , By Louis Vuitton

“ What would you take to read on a desert island ?” No one dares to answer “ the Encyclopaedia Britannica.” And yet this staggering survey of knowledge and science, still considered the most complete and best researched in the world, constantly revised and updated, would be useful way to pass the time of the day and improve the mind. And you don’t to rack your brain to figure out a way to take it with you :Louis Vuitton has already taken care of that. He did so in 1910, when the encyclopaedia’s publisher, associated with Cambridge University, placed and order for 1000 trunks. The trunks were ordered an year in advance of the eleventh edition of the Britannica and would be used to deliver the completely revised edition to subscribers. The library trunk was “ specially made for the Encyclopaedia Britannica by Louis Vuitton. “ Each one was intended to carry twenty-nine volumes- roughly 28,000 pages, excluding the index, containing 40,000 articles- which had been edited down to allow the encyclopaedia to expand its market in North America.

The first edition had come out in Edinburgh between 1765 and 1771, at a time when European leaning was toward the Enlightenment, encyclopedic learning, and dictionaries. The Encyclopaedia Britannica developed thereafter into an enterprise that ran full time at full capacity and mobilized people who knew what they were talking about: Walter Scott, Aldous Huxley, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Henry Ford, and even Harry Houdini.Vuitton’s library trunk belonged to their range of commercial trunks, covered in black or tobacco-brown Vuittonite, and also in monogram canvas or copper, depending on the order. Once the lid was raised, the trunk revealed the volumes in rows, so they could be readily identified by numbers and tittle.

Note: Books Missing

Reference number



Height: 26.5cm (10.4 inches)
Width: 89cm (35.0 inches)
Depth: 33cm (13.0 inches)

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