In JD Salinger’s classic 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield observes the envy that superior luggage can arouse: ‘It’s really hard to be room mates with people if your suitcases are much better than theirs.’ True or not, good-quality luggage has always been a sign of affluence. Though these days when we jet off overseas, we may not take a suitcase specially designed to transport a top hat, the market for vintage luggage is keen and, many believe, set to grow.
Made using richly-patented lustrous leather and closed with a snappy brass lock, old luggage conjures up images of the golden age of travel. But collectors aren’t just drawn by the longing for a bygone age, cases have practical storage and display uses too making them an ideal addition to any home.
Become the ultimate jetsetter with our eight easy steps to combining vintage luggage with your existing home décor. Just perhaps don’t try and take these heavy cases on a charter flight…
Antique leather suitcases make a lovely stand alone item, particularly when displayed alongside old maps
Use a collection of cases, hatboxes and holdalls to add interest to a simple sideboard. Set against aged prints, like this arresting pelican, for a classical accent
A brass and mahogany-coloured steamer trunk can be used as a coffee table to create an inviting and luxurious feel
A stack of dark green motoring trunks with brass fittings make for a striking display against contrasting wallpaper
For a minimalist approach, tuck away a small hatbox or shoe case for a pop of subtle interest
Introduce cream vellum suitcases as a bedside table. Perfect for housing books or propping up an antique lamp
Store your bedroom cushions or throws inside a trunk or travelling case as a quirky alternatve to a wicker blanket box