I posted this on Instagram, and then decided that I wanted to write a bit more about it. This is actually two photos. The top is an illustration from 1921, and the bottom is a currently for sale wallet from Louis Vuitton. It is pretty apparent where the LV illustration originated. In fact, the Louis Vuitton website says that the decoration on the wallet came from a 1921 ad:
Ideal gift, this witty and colorful limited edition, inspired by an historical advertisement from 1921, pays tribute to Louis Vuitton’s travel heritage.
After seeing this design last fall (and thinking how perfect it would be for a vintage traveler…) I had the drawing stuck in my mind. Louis Vuitton recently had an exhibition showing many old travel bags in vignettes with vintage clothing appropriate for travel back in the days before travel became such a hassle. I couldn’t make it to Paris to see the exhibition, but I did pull out a fantastic book that shows one hundred LV travel cases, 100 Legendary Trunks, just to get another look at those fine old travel pieces.
And that is where I found the inspiration drawing. The book was not entirely clear, but I’m pretty sure this was not from an advertisement, but was actually a header for a story on auto travel. The caption reads:
“Du Voyage en Auto, a P.F. Grignon drawing that appeared in the review Femma in 1921.”
All I could gather from my brief searches what that Grignon was an illustrator, something that could have been assumed anyway. I am totally unaware of what copyright laws are in France, but in the US, any copyright on the image would have expired. And I’m pretty sure that a company like Louis Vuitton has a legal department that advises in such matters. Still, I wish that Louis Vuitton would have identified P.F. Grignon on their website where the wallet is being sold.
I could not help but see the similarities between the Grignon illustration and the one I use for my own blog header. That illustration also dates to 1921, and is from an advertisement for a defunct car company, Jordan. I searched the original carefully for a signature, but there is none. Because this illustration predates 1923, the copyright has expired. Prior to 1923, copyright protection of a work expires seventy-five years after the first authorized publication. Still I wish I could credit the artist who made this lovely work.