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Discuss Swaine Adeney Brigg cases

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by HEPennypacker, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. Wrenkin

    Wrenkin Senior member

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    This is how I found my Peal. Both attached to the inner left hinge strap.
     
  2. Michaelkingdom

    Michaelkingdom New Member

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    I recently purchased this SAB case from Sterling and Burke in DC. It is a custom "light" dark Lindon tan ordered as a special request. It has a bit more butterscotch color. The inside is pig's felt. Enjoying it so far and looking forward to breaking it in. I love the pig's felt - it has a wonderful softness. Sorry for the washed image color.


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    [ATTACHMENT=7685]image_1.jpeg (1,868k. jpeg file)[/ATTACHMENT]

    [ATTACHMENT=7686]image.jpeg (2,088k. jpeg file)[/ATTACHMENT]
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
  3. Dparker999

    Dparker999 New Member

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    Has anyone compared the bags from Marcellino to the SAB Bags? The Marcellino bags look very nice and represent a savings of approx 30% without the exposure to an additional customs tax. I see some differences but wanted to ask. Thank you
     
  4. blackbowtie

    blackbowtie Senior member

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    I guess I've come rather late to the party…but I've been lusting after the London tan (or a similar color) top frame briefcase for months now. It seems that SAB no longer makes them (please tell me I'm wrong). I was then eyeing the Peal & Co. one made for Brooks Brothers and it turned out that the top frame briefcase had been removed from their website as just a couple of weeks ago. Any ideas why that is? (I hope it's not because they've gone out of circulation!)

    At any rate, I found that Sterling & Burke is offering their own take of the SAB top frame briefcase. Has anyone had any experience with this? Any insights?
     
  5. casemaker

    casemaker Well-Known Member

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    Strathdon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
    there are other options. Made with Sedgwick's bridle butt, entirely hand stitched ( apart from the partition board top binding )

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    pm me if of interest, simon
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. RayClark

    RayClark Member

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    Cambridgeshire, England
    I would just like to correct some miss information in the piece Swaine Adeney Brigg Winston Vs Whaler No 8 Hand Stitched Briefcase.

    First of all I should say that I have no knowledge whatsoever about the Whaler, so will make no comment about it.

    I do however know a lot about the Swaine Adeney case and as the piece is written 'as fact' I feel I am justified in correcting the errors. I worked for SAB for over 20 years, starting in the mid 1980's. When I first joined, they had a shop in Piccadilly, next to Fortnum and Mason. It was probably the most beautiful shop in London and for anyone working in the leather trade it was definitely the company to work for.

    I have probably made more of these SAB flap overs than anyone alive. I would imagine it is in the 1000's. Of this strap around type, we made a couple of different versions. The 17 inch, usually with a square lock (we called Doc 1) they call it a Westminster wrap SS now I believe and the 18 inch, usually with a Liston round lock (we called Doc 1S1) which they now call Westminster 3.

    The first thing I should say is that this is not a hand stitched case. It is a mixture of machine stitching and hand stitching. The hand stitched parts are as follows. The handle and the handle attachment straps. The buckles and loops on the all round straps, and the strap retainers that the all round straps pass through. The folded gusset, the stitching of the gusset to the front and back, the shoulder pad and the handle bar cover are all machine stitched!

    This case is not made from Sedgwick leather. Swaine Adeney had no arrangement to buy Sedgwick and in the 20 years I worked for them, I never saw a single piece of Sedgwick leather.

    The other thing I would like to add, is that this case dates from after 1997. I know this because they made subtle changes to it when Papworth travel goods were acquired. This case has those changes, so although I have no idea of it's exact time of manufacture it is certainly after 1997.

    One other thing I should say, is that the name in the case has no real bearing on it's age. In the time I worked for them, we put logo's in the products with Swaine Adeney, Swaine Adeney 1750, Swaine Adeney Brigg, sometimes just Brigg, In the 80's and 90's it was usually the Prince Charles Royal warrant and a host of others that I can't remember!

    The Swaine Adeney Flapover cases are classic briefcases, and as I played such a big part in the development and making of them I am delighted that so many people have enjoyed owning them over the years. I did however feel that it was important to correct these errors.

    Ray Clark
     
    6 people like this.
  7. md2010

    md2010 Senior member

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    ^^thanks Ray for the above post. I love my flap over SAB . It's in London tan just over 2 years old still looks brand new. I am really waiting for it to darken . How long does it really takes for them to get patina ? I apply the leather feed provided once in every 5/6 months or so.
     
  8. RayClark

    RayClark Member

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    Hi, well I wasn't working for them 2 years ago, so I don't know what leather they were using, but you can definitely use the leather feed more often. Every 3 months is fine. Unfortunately, a lot of the leather used these days seems to be very heavily pigmented, so I think it probably takes longer to age and patina. You can email me at ray@theleatherfoundry.net if you require any particular information about the care of your case.
     
  9. jodaghoda

    jodaghoda Member

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    Swaine Adeney folks say that their leather is sourced from UK,but won't say which tannery. Also, they say their bags are hand stitched whereas their Papworth collection is all machine stitched. How much of hand stitching goes in their bags is not very clear.

    Do you know if they use bridle butt leather or other less stronger parts of the hide?
     
  10. jodaghoda

    jodaghoda Member

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    Are the straps from the Westminster removable? How much does the bag weigh without putting anything inside it?
     
  11. RayClark

    RayClark Member

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    I initially posted a piece on to this forum to correct an article which had some factual errors regarding the Swaine Adeney Westminster case. I deliberately only made reference to the article and don't want to comment in any way further on the Swaine Adeney flapover cases.

    I would however like to make one further comment regarding hand stitching of briefcases and leathergoods in general. I know this is something which is often discussed and is of interest to many people.

    I produce my Leather Foundry cases, with a mix of hand stitching and machine stitching. My handles and handle attachments are always hand stitched for strength. The division is machined in place and the front and back are machined on. It's strong and long lasting, and a way that I can produce my cases at a competitive price. I can honestly say I have never had a complaint regarding the stitching. In fact I would say that machine stitching, if it is well done, is superior to badly done hand stitching.

    Having said that, I am sure that many people love to own a piece which is completely hand stitched and are willing to pay the extra cost involved. I will certainly be looking at producing, all hand stitched versions of my cases in the future!

    But to get back to the actual point I wanted to make. Hand stitching is a time consuming, labour intensive and skilled job.

    It's immensely frustrating, when a company deliberately sets out to mislead it's customers, by claiming to produce a completely hand stitched product, when in actual fact large parts of it (or in some case all of it) are machine stitched.

    Of course, to anyone spending a large sum of money on a 'hand stitched' case, finding out that it has been machine stitched goes well beyond frustrating.

    One other thing I would say, is that to anyone who is a qualified saddler or leatherworker, spotting whether a piece is hand stitched or machine stitched is as obvious as whether it's black or white. Maybe, some of the people that run these companies, don't realise this!

    I would say it's time that some companies stop using the words hand stitched , when what they really mean is that it has been held in the hand as it has been put through a sewing machine.
     
    2 people like this.
  12. casemaker

    casemaker Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that Ray, a good post. There needs to be transparency in advertising.....Ha, some hope. In the UK, the 'Advertising Standards Authority' would have the power to correct misleading or false advertising, but I cannot speak to other country's.

    I recently had a client ask about a Sterling and Burke handbag, for his wife, that was 'advertised' as Hand Stitched, however I could clearly see marks on the leather from a sewing machine foot? So he contacted them, to ask,

    Hello,

    I was looking at your Sterling & Burke Beatrice bag http://www.sterlingandburke.com/store/Sterling_And_Burke_Beatrice_Carry-All_Bespoke.html .

    In the description it notes that it is “Hand Stitched by a craftsman…”. When I look at the stitching in the photos it’s clear that the visible stitching is machine stitched, the marks made by the foot of the sewing machine are visible and the thread patterns also indicate that these are all machine stitched.

    What part of the bag is hand stitched?

    Thanks much,

    their reply,

    From: S&B Bespoke Production [mailto:bespoke@sterlingandburke.com]
    Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 10:17 AM
    To:
    Subject: RE: handbag question
    Dear Mr. ,
    Thank you for your interest in the Beatrice Carry-All. This handbag, in addition to the others in the Beatrice range are produced in England, one at a time by a single craftsman. He uses patterns to hand cut each piece of leather and suede that is used on this bag. During the construction, this same craftsman uses his sweing machine to assemble most of the bag. Many of the finishing stitches and final touches are finished with his hand and a single or double needle technique as needed. Every inch of the piece, down to the solid brass lock is hand assembled. Please let us know if you have any further questions, we have only 2 in stock at the moment, most are produced on a bespoke basis.
    Kindest Regards,
    S&B Manufacturing

    Sterling & Burke Ltd
    Customer Service: 202.331.4244
    Retail Store: 202.333.2266

    Bespoke@SterlingAndBurke.com
    Enquiries@SterlingAndBurke.com

    and another, this time a client inquiring about Top Framed Briefcases, again listed as 'Hand Stitched',
    Sent: Wed, 21 May 2014 18:43
    Subject: Re: Inquiry - Top Frame
    Hi Simon,

    I hope you're well. Below you'll see a description by Sterling and Burke to me in an email about hand-stitched bags. What do you think?

    "
    This case that is in production is hand stitched by our master craftsman who has been in the trade for over 30 years. It has the hand stitched handle, hand stitched detailing and the raw, hand painted edges.

    I understand you had some questions about the differences between hand stitched and machine stitched pieces. I have outlined a few of the major differences below and I have also attached a few images to help explain.
    Traditionally, both pieces would use a sewing machine for some part of the process, however, there are different styles of stitches and machinery that is used on the hand stitched versus machine stitched pieces.
    - On a machine stitched piece, every portion of the case would be machined, all parts of the body, and the handle.
    - On a hand stitched piece, in addition to a sewing machine, a double needle saddlery stitch is also used on a good portion of the case. When a sewing machine is needed, a double loop stitch is used with waxed linen thread. This cements each stitch in place and if one was to ever break, no other stitch would come undone or even loosen.
    And easy way to tell the difference is to look at the edges. I have a “Raw Edge” and “Folded” image attached.
    - Cases where the leather is folded over are generally machine stitched. The leather is thinned on the edges and folded over and then stitched.
    - With the raw edge, it requires a bit more precision and then the edges are hand painted and buffed. This step is eliminated with machine stitched cases.
    A special tool that looks like a metal comb is used to hammer the holes for hand stitching. This tool creates slightly slanted, longer holes in the leather. This is a very minute detail but allows you to see exactly what stitch was made with the double needle technique and where a machine was needed. On the Top Frame in particular, you can see the hand stitching all around the top frame and of course on the handle. Most of the end/edge stitches from a machine are finished by hand, to ensure they are extra secure.
    The handle is generally a huge differentiator as well. A hand stitched handle uses 7 layers of leather and is completely hand stitched with the double needles. A Machine stitched handle is flatter with less layers and structure.
    No matter which you go with, each of these cases will be produced by a single person and every step is a completely hands on, intricate process. The master craftsman that is qualified to do the hand stitched work, takes these pieces to the next level."

    Chris


    So, as you can see, what someone says in advertising may not mean much, if in doubt ASK. The above is blatant, most companies 'suggest', again ask.

    And Ray is correct, it does take a lot longer to entirely hand stitch a case, than machine stitching, and good hand stitching is better than good machine stitching, but it is going to cost more, because of the time and skill needed.
     
  13. Equus Leather

    Equus Leather Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    Tremendously well said! The words hand stitched are terrifically abused in some quarters and by some companies that really should know better as its very obvious that their work isn't hand stitched at all. Given the literal blood shed developing ones technique and the metaphorical blood shed recruiting staff that can stitch well by hand (hens teeth doesnt begin to come close....) its somthing that makes my blood boil! We should develop a certification scheme, the logo being an awl, a pricking iron and a calloused finger... Charlie
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. casemaker

    casemaker Well-Known Member

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    Strathdon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
    Agree completely !

    I suspect that this false and misleading advertising will not stop until an outraged customer takes the offender ( s ) to court ?

    Part of the problem may well be that the advertising copy writers will not understand the difference, but no excuse. I have been told by clients, that when in a certain well known London store, staff will sidle up, and say " you know these are all Hand stitched", again it is unlikely that the shop staff are trained leatherworkers ? But, the management should know better.

    Back to the old guild system, and the stocks for offenders :)
     
    1 person likes this.
  15. Equus Leather

    Equus Leather Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    This followed by this! In all seriousness though it should be a trades description act issue and people should be taken to court though, imo. Its unacceptable to say you do one thing and do something completely different, its not just a bit of spin or hyperbole its an outright lie.

    Charlie
     
  16. christianch

    christianch Well-Known Member

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  17. chobochobo

    chobochobo Senior member Moderator

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    I have a couple of SAB Gladstones from the 1980s that are really nice but I don't get to use much at all.
     
  18. SpeshD

    SpeshD New Member

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  19. skywalker

    skywalker Senior member

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    Does anyone know how to contact rayclark to purchase a briefcase? His e-mail is returned as undeliverable.
     
  20. deelee

    deelee Member

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    Have been trying to contact Ray as well. It seems he has stopped trading quite suddenly. Hoping he's doing okay.
     

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