To counteract extreme conditions, Louis Vuitton exhibited a waterproof zinc trunk in Le Havre in 1868, outfitted with watertight locks. By the end of the 19th century, specially ordered trunks were rendered in zinc, copper and aluminium overlays for the most precious cargo. These precious trunks were galvanized to protect against oxidation and corrosion. Each were available in three models, in six sizes each.
As physical exploration took the gentlemanly world by storm, scientific exploration did as well. Aluminium was first successfully produced in 1824. And in 1855, when the first aluminium ingots were presented at the Universal Exhibition in Paris, crowds were immediately captivated by what became known as the white gold of Napoleon. Flexible, lightweight and precious, aluminium was very expensive to produce, more luxurious and costly than gold. In 1905, Georges Vuitton received a patent for perfecting the use of aluminium for travel items, registered on the 24 of May. A trunk made of aluminium is the ultimate luxury for the most elegant and distinguished voyager. One Aluminium Explorer Trunk from 1892 rests in the Louis Vuitton Collection. Extremely rare and exorbitantly special, nothing like this has come to auction before.