How Can You tell if a Louis Vuitton bag is Vintage?

Unraveling the Secrets: Key Indicators and Expert Tips to Authenticate Timeless Treasures


One of the most recognisable luxury brands in the world, Louis Vuitton is synonymous with high-end leather luggage and handbags. Established in 1854, during an era where steam train, boat and horse-drawn carriages were the various modes of transport, their products are still very much in demand. Some rarer vintage examples are even more sought after than their current day counterparts. The flat-topped, stackable, lightweight, and waterproof trunks with an unpickable spring buckle lock system continue to be highly collectable.


Louis Vuitton Ellipse MM bag


A Louis Vuitton Ellipse MM Bag

Sold for £320


So how can you tell if your Louis Vuitton is vintage? To be considered a vintage, an item needs to be at least 25-30 years old, consequently the best way to tell if your Louis Vuitton is vintage, is to establish its’ age.

Louis Vuitton trunks have their own identification/serial numbers, which thanks to archive records, can provide the year and month of manufacture. Sometimes this number is illegible or has worn away, but don’t despair, Louis Vuitton can provide this information, although it could take up to 6 months. Checking the label font and address can also give clues to age, for example “Avenue Marceau”, which was the premises for Louis Vuitton from 1954 until 1986. Trunks produced after 2000 have a serial number on the same register as handbags.


A Louis Vuitton red epi-leather handbag

A Louis Vuitton red epi-leather handbag

Sold for £320


When dealing with handbags, it is important to locate the “date code” which will be stamped either on the interior tags or directly onto the interior lining, these codes will identify if the bag was made in the last 40 years. Usually, a combination of letters and numbers, we can determine in which country it was made as well as the year and month of production. These codes only started being used in the early 80s, so should your authentic Louis Vuitton bag lack this code, it is likely to have been produced earlier. These codes have been replaced by a microchip system as of 2021.


A Louis Vuitton dark maroon patent leather handbag

A Louis Vuitton dark maroon patent leather handbag

Sold for £1,100


Hardware is made of golden brass, regular brass, or silvery metal colours. From the late 1970s until the early 1990s, Louis Vuitton worked with The French Company to make products for North American customers. Louis Vuitton items made by The French Company have zippers by Talon, Eclair, or C&C. The Speedy and Keepall designs also used a different lock called the Tucky Tucky.

There are several other details you can study to determine the age of your bag, including examining the handles, which were made with untreated cowhide leather, which oxidises and turns darker as it ages, this patina is a good indicator of age.

Louis Vuitton has an impressive history, so whether you have determined that your Louis Vuitton is vintage, antique or even modern, it should delight you to own such an iconic piece of luxury fashion.


Do you have a vintage Louis Vuitton that you are thinking of selling?

Dawsons stream our monthly auctions to a global audience of over 10 million active buyers, which ensures you will receive the best price for your Louis Vuitton at auction.

Get in touch today, our expert team would be delighted to provide an auction estimate:

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