Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton

Sayajirao Gaekwad’s tea case

Sayajirao Gaekwad’s tea case

Louis Vuitton

While nothing like the profligate spender his brother was—Malharrao is believed to have once commissioned cannons made of solid gold—Sayajirao was a man of fine tastes. In 1890, he moved into the Laxmi Vilas Palace, a gargantuan complex three times as big as Buckingham Palace and staffed by 3,000 permanent staff. The maharaja’s kitchens were run by a Frenchman. When guests stayed at Sayajirao Gaekwad’s the palace, they were expected to mark their preference for mode of transport on a gold card—they could choose from elephant, horsew or Rolls Royce.

In 1930, Louis Vuitton delivered its version of this tea case, an elegant and practical piece designed to be compact and yet easy to remove and use. The case contains cups, pots and all the other paraphernalia for a proper cup of tea on the road.

In 1930, Louis Vuitton delivered its version of this tea case, an elegant and practical piece designed to be compact and yet easy to remove and use. The case contains cups, pots and all the other paraphernalia for a proper cup of tea on the road. While path-breaking at the time, today the piece is easy to identify with. It has the economy of space and packaging that is often seen in modern luggage, consumer electronics and even architecture.

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