Interview - Elisio Das Neves - Des Voyages

Passionate about travel, Elisio Das Neves is naturaly became specialist about luxury luggage. Surrounded of Vuitton trunk this merchant shared with us a little bit of his passion. We invite you this week to come discover a part of history of these great luxury houses.

What is your background ?

I started my career as a technician at the Agence France Presse. My friend worked at the flea market and I had many free time, I was bargain hunt a lot and I exposed the objects on his booth. They were sold relatively quickly. After for a moment, I was really fed up of my activity. I was 30 years old, I was young, I worked too little and I was bored. I had two sabbatical years then I opened a shop. I already collected old luggages and small old bags. So I immediately began to sell that ; at the time, nobody was doing it.

Where does this passion for old luggage come from?

I am an immigrant and I think that moving and traveling is anchored in me. There must be a link with that.

Tell us about your specialty?

I am specialize in French luxury brands. A beautiful baggage is not enough, it must be recognizable. That's why I focus on Louis Vuitton, Goyard and Moynat. We are moving towards these brands that are the most famous because they constitute a social marker. I have very old trunks. I have one of 1854, it is the beginning of Louis Vuitton. We can date the trunks according to their coatings. The first monograms date from 1896. At the beginning, they were woven, then they were stencilled I also present silverware and Hermes items.

What I like to do in my booth is to keep things as they are. If the inside of a trunk is stained, it's a sign of life.

Who are your clients ?

They are mainly foreigners for some time, Chinese, Thai, but I still have French customers

Where do you find your pieces ?

Many peoples call me. Other merchants who are not specialized also call me to ask me for some advices and propose me things. I buy a little in auction because objects are selling at already too high prices, sometimes more expensive than what I sell.

Why did you choose to settle in Paul Bert Serpette?

My friend Francis Toussaint, who is also my associate, specialized in tableware at the Vernaison market. He then came to Serpette and teamed up with Nicolas Giovannoni. When you are in Saint-Ouen, the success is to be in Paul Bert Serpette. Formerly, when I came there, I was intimidated. Serpette is really the best place to sell luxury luggages. The clientele is very particular and upscale and it's the only place in Paris where they are so many. They come here because there is a wide variety of things. A customer who comes to Paris will devote a day to bargain hunt and he does not have time to visit ten shops in Paris. Here it is possible. The group effect and the emulation between the antiques dealers are very important. Having worked elsewhere than here, I have the necessary perspective to appreciate the quality of work that we have in Paul Bert Serpette.

What is the object of your booth that you would like to highlight? 

I have this Vuitton trunk, dated 1870. It was made just after the stopping of the trianon gray canvas that was the first Louis Vuitton canvas. After the gray canvas, they made striped canvas and it is interesting because we find this gray canvas under this trunk. They had to remain stockpiles of canvas to sell. It is quite rare to find these two canvas on the same trunk and it marks the transition between the two periods. Inside, we find the label with the number of the trunk because already at the time, labels were numbered. Louis Vuitton had become supplier of his Majesty the King of Spain and noted on their labels to do some advertising. I kept this trunk in its original state. It is really authentic. They lose a lot of value when they are restored. An old trunk is like an old car. If everything is original it has more value.