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  • Widener Steamer

    Louis Vuitton, Circa Turn of the 20th Century

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    Widener Steamer
    Description
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    Specs & Condition

    Early 20th Century Louis Vuitton Custom-Order Calf Leather Trunk, commissioned and owned by George D. Widener. (RMS Titanic Provenance.) Louis Vuitton Calf Leather (denotes a custom-order) Trunk with Brass and Copper hardware, as well as a special, custom-order locking mechanism. Three original trays included. Exterior and interior condition are very good.

    Dimensions:

    32" length  x 16" height x 19" depth, 50 pounds.

    Materials:

    Wood, Calf's Leather, Brass.

    Condition: Very Good.

    Exterior and interior condition are very good, especially for a trunk of this age and material--the Calf leather is the most difficult of the Louis Vuitton trunk canvases to maintain.  Normal signs of use and travel.  Faded, original owner initials (GDW) on end.  Original, working locks.  Original interior with no odors and only minor stains.  Three original trays included.  End handles easily support the trunk's weight.  Please view all pictures which accurately depict condition and are completely unaltered.  I have done no restorations to the trunk.  Sold "as is." 

    This authentic, custom-made Louis Vuitton trunk belonged to George Dunton Widener  (it is uncertain whether it was the property of George Dunton Widener, Sr. or his second oldest son, George Dunton Widener, Jr.)  and was recovered from Miramar Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, the summer home of the Widener Family.  The family's primary residence, as well as the location that is named on the trunk's plaque, was Lynnewood Mansion in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, a 110-room, Georgian-style mansion that earned the heralded nick-named, "America's Versailles."  It is the home in which the children of George Widener, Sr. were raised and thus, it is very plausible that this trunk belonged to George, Sr., and not his son, George, Jr. 

    Easily among the wealthiest of Americans, Widener, Sr. was an electric and cable streetcar magnate, as was his father, Peter Arrell Brown Widener.  George, Sr., his wife, Eleanor Elkins, and their eldest son, Harry, were aboard the maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic.  George, Sr., and Harry went down with the ship on April 15, 1912; Eleanor was saved and returned home to the couples' surviving son, George, Jr., and daughter, Eleanor.  

    George Dunton Widener, Jr. (1889-1971) became a prominent business man and thoroughbred racehorse owner.  Named one of only five people ever designated "Exemplars of Racing" by the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, George Jr. owned Old Kenney Farm (now Green Gates Farm) in Lexington, Kentucky.  

    Decorating Ideas:

    Considering the prestigious, captivating provenance of this trunk, it makes a fabulous focal point and unique conversational piece in a home.   Consider stacking this trunk on top of a larger wardrobe or courier trunk, so that it is easily admired.  

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