Tim Oulton has been obsessed by vintage luggage since his early days working in his dad’s antiques store near Manchester. With a private collection of around 160 rare trunks, one of Tim’s favourite pieces is a rare Goyard trunk made for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, currently offered for sale at Timothy Oulton Bluebird.



In 1925 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, collaborated with luxury luggage purveyor Goyard to create a bespoke trunk that would act as a mobile office, allowing Doyle, a prolific traveller, to continue to write wherever he was in the world.


Edmond Goyard received an order that presented the Goyard workshop with a challenge –novelist, physician and globetrotter Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wanted to continue his creative endeavors beyond the confines of London. The solution that emerged from Goyard was what from the outside looked like a standard trunk in both size and weight, yet contained an elegant and fully functioning folding table and a bookcase.  


Only seven were ever made. Today, two are owned by Goyard, one is housed in a French museum, three are in private collections, including this example, which comes from British furniture maker Timothy Oulton’s own inventory of rare and antique pieces. The whereabouts of the seventh is unknown.

Available at Timothy Oulton Bluebird, this exceptional piece is part of a large collection of antique Goyard and Louis Vuitton trunks personally procured and curated by founder Tim Oulton.


On his love of trunks, Tim says, “I started out in my dad’s antiques shop when I left school, and one of the first things I started selling was old leather suitcases and trunks. I just loved the handcraftsmanship, the worn patina of the leather, and the incredible detail that went into each piece - right down to the locks and handles. I’ve currently got about 160 trunks – mainly Louis Vuitton and some Goyard, many of which are extremely rare. I think the treasure hunt for the rarest pieces is part of the obsession for me, I still get butterflies when we go to the auctions! The Goyard trunk has such a great story to it, the transformation from trunk to writing desk was incredibly innovative at the time, and there’s this romantic notion of Doyle penning his novels in some far flung place - there aren’t many stories like that in antiques. There’s just something perennially enduring about trunks, they’re a great example of antiques being relevant in modern interiors.”


This remarkable Goyard trunk is offered for sale at £96,000. Contact the Bluebird gallery for more details at [email protected].