Schlepping in Style

The ritual of packing one’s belongings is an intricate part of indulging one’s Wanderlust – and the wide variety of bags, cases, trunks, packs, boxes… across history is mind boggling. Here are some exquisite examples that can be found at the 2019 San Francisco Fall Show, along with some sage traveling tips and insights.

Marcel Proust declared The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes, while his fellow countryman Andre Gide said Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.

Below from Milord Antiques: 1920s Louis Vuitton steamer trunk with studded black metal trim and two-tier interior compartments.

We all know the famous Robert Frost poem The Road Not Taken: Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

Below from Peter Fetterman Gallery: Dog with Suitcase (1982) by Kristoffer Albrecht © Kristoffer Albrecht

Some of the world’s wisest men (and women) encourage us to travel, including the Dalai Lama: Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before. Confucius advised: Wherever you go, go with all your heart. And Ibn Battuta, a Muslim Moroccan scholar, geographer and explorer who widely travelled the world in the 14th century, observed: Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.

Below from Rodrigo Rivero Lake: Alabaster chest with exquisite silver filigree and Jesuit initials on the inside, 17th century Tecali, Puebla.

Last but not least, consider this from the late great Anthony Bourdain: Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.

Below from Zentner Collection, left: a rare Japanese gyosho bako (peddler’s chest traveling backpack) made with 100% Kiri wood (paulownia), from the Edo Period (1603-1868). Right: an unusual traveling set of Japanese Black Lacquer Gyosho Bako (peddler’s boxes)