Holy Grail pieces are those pieces which are so unobtainable and/or so expensive that you just want to have them. For me my fascination with Louis Vuitton started when I was 15 years old. Louis Vuitton had just released the Taiga leather line. Subsequently Louis Vuitton had released some stunning print advertisements.
Some Holy Grail pieces for me have been the hard-sided luggage including the Alzer, Bisten and other hard-sided objects. Some other Holy Grail pieces have been the hard-sided briefcases made by Louis Vuitton.
The final class of items that have been Holy Grail pieces to me are the Louis Vuitton desk sets – the writing pad, paper tray and pencil holder.
Due to the Global Financial Crisis I have been able to get some of these pieces on the secondary market – mainly via eBay.
I try and obtain pieces with as few flaws as possible.
Some collectors of Vintage Louis Vuitton luggage prefer to get pieces which have stood the test of time. Personally I prefer newer, better condition pieces. More modern pieces allow me to use the piece and put my own history onto the piece.
If you have bought a 1930s or 1940s piece you need to be very careful not to damage the piece. You really need to preserve the piece in the condition it is in. This means that you often can not use the piece like a more modern piece.
For example a 1990s version of the same piece can be used without the same caution. I find it appealing to add my own history to the piece.
I like to use all my Louis Vuitton items. This includes my hard-sided luggage collection. Naturally I am not brave/silly enough to use these items on a commercial flight. This means we limit the use of this luggage to road journeys.
Commercial realities’ being what they are means baggage handlers are time poor and simply throw the items onto the plane.
I highly recommend using all your Louis Vuitton items when possible. Sure it is nice to have them tucked away at home however nothing beats adding your own history to the item.
One of the funny things about collecting is that once you have found a desired piece another slightly better piece often turns up. This is where you need to be disciplined and decide if you can afford two pieces instead of one. I have often then resold the lesser quality piece on eBay. Thence the reason it is good to be active in small time dealing.
The hunt is often the most fun in collecting. To these ends I am still to acquire some Louis Vuitton desk set items. I have been very fortunately to acquire some excellent Holy Grail pieces so I am patient to wait for the right item to turn up at a fair price.