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World-class umbrellas

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Does anyone here have any experience with an exceptional, world-class umbrella? As a very belated birthday gift, I've been debating asking for such an umbrella.  I'm thinking Swaine Adeney Brigg (arguably the world's finest umbrella) or something comparable (question: while in London a few years ago, I visited a different, venerable English umbrella maker that had been around for ages.  The name now escapes me, as I'm drawing a blank- does anyone know who I'm thinking of ?) I'm wondering if anyone can report on their experiences with such an umbrella, as I decide whether such an indulgence is worth it.  One of my fears, of course, is that I'll do what everybody else does with their umbrellas- lose it.  At several hundred dollars per, however, that would be a concern.  I've yet to lose my current umbrellas (a small grey Kenneth Cole and a larger Burberry) so I suspect that my knowledge of a new one's cost would be a great memory enhancer. For an example of the sort of piece I'm speaking of, think of Ralph Fiennes in The Avengers a few years ago.  (By the way, I defy anyone in this forum to find me a more glaring example of such superb style- Fiennes' pinstriped suits, Windsor-knotted English ties, bowler hats, and  umbrellas- within such a horrible movie.  Generally, movies that exhibit such style- James Bond, etc.- are quite good.  Not in this case) Thanks for your input.
post #2 of 8
The umbrella shop you are thinking of, must be James Smith & Sons who have been around since 1830. They have a website: www.james-smith.co.uk which must have been designed at about the same time: no on-line shopping.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
That's the one, Bengal. Thank you. If anyone knows more of James Smith, or Swaine, or some other similar maker, I'd be curious to hear your thoughts.
post #4 of 8
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post #5 of 8
Try James Smith - best umbrellas in the world.

http://www.james-smith.co.uk/history.cfm
post #6 of 8
Holy thread bump. Luckily umbrella manufacturers have stayed the same!
post #7 of 8
I have a James Smith one-piece umbrella; my only regret, I lost the cover

You are actually wasting money by not getting a JS umbrella because you will spend that money on something crap. Even if live in a dessert, you should get a JS umbrella.
post #8 of 8
I bought one for my dad (James Smith), and it is absolutely top notch. It is basically a tapered cane with umbrella workings on it -- it comes long and then you size it and they attach a metal cap. It's really a thing of beauty. I was at Swaine Adeney Brigg today, and checked their umbrellas and can say definitively they are not nearly as nice (though I wasn't comparing like for like as I am sure JS sells a cheaper verion of the one I bought).

Definitely the nicest umbrellas I've ever seen...
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