French Maison Hermès has been searching through its archives and has discovered a beautiful luggage case that was specially designed for the ‘Out of Africa’ author Karen Blixen.
Otherwise known as Isak Dineson, the case was one of two supposedly designed for the writer during the 30s, the first being in 1930 and the second, more complicated version in 1935.
Reportedly the latter consumed 368 hours of work and is an extraordinarily complicated piece of luggage, truly worthy of an aristocrat facing the demanding African landscape.
Both pieces feature delicate inlays and engraving, with most pieces finished with a baronesses’ crown and the author’s DBF monogram which stood for Dineson Blixen-Finecke, a combination of her maiden and married names. Her full title was in fact Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke.
As you can see there are a gargantuan amount of little pockets, nooks, crannies and vials that were made to house everything from spirits to smoking accessories, from playing cards to writing instruments, from perfume to sewing items, and from cosmetics to jewellery. She would have rivaled Mary Poppins.
Sadly and interestingly, the case never seemed to make it to Africa. Blixen left the continent in 1931, (her fledgling coffee plantation at the foot of the N’gong Hills having been hit by drought and financial hardship) and so no one really knows who commissioned the exquisite case for her.
It’s a beautiful thing and if you’re going on an extended safari, you could do a lot worse than ask Hermès to make a third… Come into the beautiful world of Hermès.