Originally Posted by Tarmac
Really, I don't think the leather on old SAB and today will be that different. Just my guess. There is no leather in the world which can resist a scuff like that in the top pic. It looks like the bag was put on the ground, and dragged for just a bit. Concrete+leather=scrape. The SAB in the bottom pic is of course spectacular. But I think it has been conditioned at least every few years and exposed to a lot more elements. Maybe conditioned only every 10 years, but this still goes a long way to cover up scuffs and the like. You can see the very dark patination in the seams and stitching, a mark of oils building up there from conditioning. It could have also been touched by rain on more than one occasion.
I actually think the one on the bottom is a John Pound IIRC. There was a LV from the early 20th century on ebay a few weeks ago that had the best patina I'd ever seen. Wish I would have saved the pics. I'm no expert but looking at a lot of vintage leather goods it seems the lower quality stuff tends to fray and get ligher when distressed. Better leather items tend to darken and marble. I'm curious why that is. I may try to find some examples and start a thread.