Every once in a while we come across an object that needs a unique storage mount to help fully support it and prevent it from deteriorating due to its storage conditions. Recently, I had the opportunity to make a storage mount for a trunk cover for a Louis Vuitton steamer trunk. Some of you may be familiar with the piece after reading Beth’s blog about the trunk earlier this week.
Before I even got started with the mount I spent some time cleaning the piece. The piece had been stored for years in a plastic bag inside the trunk. When we removed it we found that the leather on the piece had become unstable in areas and in some cases showed a type of damage called red rot. Red rot is where the leather actually powders because the fibrous structure of the leather has broken down. The red rot left a loose red powder on the canvas that we cleaned off by vacuuming the piece with a screen as a protective barrier for the fabric.
Next I began making the mount for the piece by cutting down sheets of ethafoam to make the sides of a fake trunk.
Next we put the pieces together with archival hot glue.
We determined that the leather straps were either broken or too brittle to close the cover around the mount. Instead we used cotton twill tape to hold the piece to the mount.
In the end, we have a custom made mount that is made entirely of archival materials. The piece will be stored on the mount instead of inside the trunk to try and minimize the stress on the damaged leather.