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Holland & Holland

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by BritishEmpire, Jul 2, 2007.

  1. stilmacher

    stilmacher Senior member

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    I have just been to their sale and I love the store, love the brand, love the design of their RTW, especially their ladies line is awesome!
     


  2. PhiloVance

    PhiloVance Senior member

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    My fiance worked at Chanel a few years ago and the employees were always invited to the H&H private sale before they closed the 57th street location. The first few times I went it was invitation only, but by the last time you really just needed to know about it and they would let you in.

    I purchased several hunting jackets which I held onto and ultimately sold for 10 times what I paid at the sale. I still have a cashmere blazer that I love and well as a tan peaked lapel wool blazer that I wore to the point that there is now a huge hole in the lining. At the time the 57th street location was still in business, they offered to change the lining for $100, which I stupidly declined, as it was more than I paid for the coat. But I love the shotgun-shell imprint in the lining, even with the hole. I also was lucky enough to get a small army of canvas jackets and raincoats which I still get wear frequently and get compliments on. Also, lots of ties with unique hunting imprints. My favorite is a yellow tan/yellow tie with a tiger resting under a palm-tree. Also houndstooth imprints, quails, stags, etc. My fiance also purchased a leather bound shoe-care kit. She also purchased a lot of bags, purses, caps, etc. Generally, the stuff sells at a huge profit when we decide we've held onto particular items for too long without wearing them (ie the action-back Norfolk shooting jackets). All in all, I love the remaining items I purchased.

    I think the quality of the coats/blazers/jackets are fantastic, all made in England or France, although I'm unsure of the maker. The quality of the sweaters were not as good, as the cashmere/silk blends tended to unravel and need to be re-stitched on occasion. But again, great/fantastic at the drastically reduced sale prices, but at regular prices not a a great deal.

    Also, I wear this stuff to work or in casual settings, I definitely dont think it would hold up if used for its intended safari purpose [​IMG]

    If you run an H&H search in the buying and selling forum, you should see an auction for a green norfolk shooting jacket that I recently sold on ebay.
     


  3. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I thought Richemont owns Purdey and Chanel owns H&H.
    Sorry, got my facts wrong. Rjman, you are right (as always)

    Purdey is Richemont:
    http://www.richemont.com/health_safe...vironment.html

    And Holland & Holland is Chanel:
    http://www.hollandandholland.com/history/history3.htm

    The brand has had a disastrous time as high-fashion, cutting-edge designer label in the late 1990s (don't know who designed for them). Since then they have gone back to their hunting jackets and safariennes. (I suppose they are now, where Abercrombie & Fitch once was.)

    In 1996, Chanel acquired exclusive gun maker Holland & Holland. The company's attempt to extend that brand name to a wider range of fashions met with a lukewarm reception, forcing Chanel to scale back and realign Holland & Holland to its original concept.

    My point was, that all this Englishness is fake (or maybe faux) and both companies are on that usual international-luxury-brand-roundabout.
     


  4. PhiloVance

    PhiloVance Senior member

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    My point was, that all this Englishness is fake (or maybe faux) and both companies are on that usual international-luxury-brand-roundabout.

    Yes, like I said, the sweaters didnt even survive my nocturnal ramblings through the 5 boroughs of NYC . . . I dont think it would hold up well in the English countryside, much less the African brush.
     


  5. stilmacher

    stilmacher Senior member

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    The store manager just told me that H&H has just been changing ownership. So I guess it's not Chanel anymore...
     


  6. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    So I guess it's not Chanel anymore...
    As I said: Roundabouts.

    Maybe Purdey won't be Richemont for much longer. They seem to get rid of their fashion-brands and hang on to the watches. (Who knows, Purdey might go under metal, not fashion.)
     


  7. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    The gun JLibourel mentioned was a bolt-action rifle--an action type done much better these days by many other brands. The H&H bolt guns I've seen were built on Mauser '98 actions with no real tuning, and, although finished beautifully, couldn't hold a candle to a good US-made custom bolt gun costing less than 1/3 the price. But that's not H&H's metier. You're talking about their sidelock double rifles (costing around 80K), and, in that domain, they're really the gun to get. Purdey makes shotguns and very, very few rifles.

    Roger,

    You're a little behind the curve on Holland & Holland prices. Current list for a Royal Sidelock Game Gun in 12 or 20 gauge is GBP 60,375. (And I doubt you will be getting a better gun than a top-end Spanish gun costing, maybe, 1/7th as much.) The Royal De Luxe side by side rifles start at GPB 75,075 and go up to GBP 91,350 depending on caliber. Fxxxing ridiculous!
     


  8. Teacher

    Teacher Senior member

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    Are the clothes as over-priced as the firearms? A chap I know in the business checked out a new $25,000 Holland & Holland bolt-action rifle not too long ago. He said it was absolute cr*p--not particularly well made and very inaccurate!

    That is extremely disappointing. To think that one must spend $80,000 on a gun in order to start getting quality is ridiculous. I'm not exactly an outsider, either: for two decades, my father hand-made black powder rifles, making every single part except the screws and the barrels (and he actuallyl made himself a rifling machine before he quit!). Many of these guns used the best fiddleback maple, claro walnut, and cherry, and often had inlays and intricate carving and relief. The most expensive one that I can recall was in the neighborhood of $5,000 to $8000, and if more time and handwork didn't go into that gun than an $80,000 H&H, I'll eat a Kabbaz shirt.

    No, I'm not starting a "what is it worth" thread. If someone wants to pay H&H's prices, I have no problem with that. It's just that it's very disappointing to see that they make a VERY expensive gun -- the one referenced by Jan -- that doesn't seem to very good. That's very different from producing an extremely expensive product that is good.
     


  9. Teacher

    Teacher Senior member

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    Roger,

    You're a little behind the curve on Holland & Holland prices. Current list for a Royal Sidelock Game Gun in 12 or 20 gauge is GBP 60,375. (And I doubt you will be getting a better gun than a top-end Spanish gun costing, maybe, 1/7th as much.) The Royal De Luxe side by side rifles start at GPB 75,075 and go up to GBP 91,350 depending on caliber. Fxxxing ridiculous!


    Man, I am in the wrong line of work.
     


  10. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    Well, Teach, those eager to get rich quick generally don't go into education. I'd be curious to know more about your father. I don't know much about top-grade muzzleloading rifles, but some people I deal with would surely have heard of him.

    Just looked up the latest prices on Purdey guns. Surpisingly, the shotguns are considerably more reasonable than Hollands starting at a mere GBP $48,800...if you consider a $97,000+ shotgun "reasonable."

    Their double rifles are a tad more expensive, however. Ranging from GBP 77,500 to 94,000 depending on caliber.

    The base price for their bolt-action rifles is GBP 18,250, 19,500 for a magnum version--very close to Holland's 18,165 and 19, 740 for the same items.

    So-o-o, the rifle I reported as being a $25,000 piece of cr*p is now a $36,000+ piece of cr*p! It will probably be a shade better looking but not nearly as accurate as a Sako Finnbear I paid $185 for back in 1972.
     


  11. Huntsman

    Huntsman Senior member

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    I tend toward the style that H&H would espouse -- a certain subset of the sporting life, if you will, but I have none of their pieces. Can't wait for Fall again to bring on the tweed shooting coats. Regarding handmade firearms and pricing and such, sidelock side-by-sides and especially SxS double rifles have significantly more complicated internals than any muzzleloader, so there should be some disparity in cost. I do agree, however, that $100k is well beyond reason, but beg to note that I'm in no way disparaging your father's work -- handmade muzzleloaders are beautiful, beautiful, pieces. I've been meanaing to get a small calibre Pennsylvania Longrifle for some time now, in fact... Best, Huntsman
     


  12. Roger

    Roger Senior member

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    Roger,

    You're a little behind the curve on Holland & Holland prices. Current list for a Royal Sidelock Game Gun in 12 or 20 gauge is GBP 60,375. (And I doubt you will be getting a better gun than a top-end Spanish gun costing, maybe, 1/7th as much.) The Royal De Luxe side by side rifles start at GPB 75,075 and go up to GBP 91,350 depending on caliber. Fxxxing ridiculous!

    When I wrote 80K, I meant 80K GBP!

    Edit: Actually, just to add a footnote to this, I traded for an H&H Royal sidelock ejector about 20 years ago. It was in 300 H&H Rimmed (the rimmed version of the 300 H&H Magnum) and had been well-used (although not abused). I think the asking price was around $8000, and it took a couple of custom guns and cash for me to get it. I handloaded for it and in time got it to put 4 shots--2 lefts and 2 rights--into about 1.5" at 100 yards. That, Teacher, is where some of the high cost of double rifles comes from--regulating the barrels. This is a real art, and there are very few English gunmakers who can do this well. We may have a situation somewhat analogous to the small number of really top English bespoke cordwainers--Tony Gaziano, George Glasgow at Cleverley, etc. The rest of the horrendous cost comes mostly from the sheer time it takes to produce one of these treasures--months.
     


  13. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    When I wrote 80K, I meant 80K GBP!

    Edit: Actually, just to add a footnote to this, I traded for an H&H Royal sidelock ejector about 20 years ago. It was in 300 H&H Rimmed (the rimmed version of the 300 H&H Magnum) and had been well-used (although not abused). I think the asking price was around $8000, and it took a couple of custom guns and cash for me to get it. I handloaded for it and in time got it to put 4 shots--2 lefts and 2 rights--into about 1.5" at 100 yards. That, Teacher, is where some of the high cost of double rifles comes from--regulating the barrels. This is a real art, and there are very few English gunmakers who can do this well. We may have a situation somewhat analogous to the small number of really top English bespoke cordwainers--Tony Gaziano, George Glasgow at Cleverley, etc. The rest of the horrendous cost comes mostly from the sheer time it takes to produce one of these treasures--months.


    Four shots in 1.5 inches. Well, whoop-de-doo! I hate to sound like such a philistine, but I can probably get the same result with a $500 Savage bolt-action the first time out with factory ammo.
     


  14. TCN

    TCN Senior member

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    I think many would be surprised to know how many hours of labor go into producing a Best gun. If you break it down, the price isn't as unreasonable as it may seem, and that's before you add the now considerable cost of materials and the horrid exchange rate.

    Some of the first rate smaller manufacturers (who perhaps still aren't quite at the level of H&H or Purdey or Boss), such as Tony White, David McKay Brown or Graham Greener produce Best guns in the USD $50,000 to $80,000 range, but they have fewer laborers and only produce a small number of guns.

    There are a very small number of German and Italian companies that surpass even Holland's and Purdey's prices.
     


  15. Roger

    Roger Senior member

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    Four shots in 1.5 inches. Well, whoop-de-doo! I hate to sound like such a philistine, but I can probably get the same result with a $500 Savage bolt-action the first time out with factory ammo.
    LOL! You've obviously never handloaded for a double rifle! Typical double-rifle accuracy--and the level that the British gunmakers have regarded as satisfactory over the decades--is about 3 inches at 100 yards. Consider the challenge in getting two barrels so perfectly regulated that they can not only keep each barrel around an inch at 100 yards, but also both barrels coordinated so that you don't exceed 1.5" in a group arising from two separate barrels. (Most bolt-action hunting rifles, as I imagine you know, won't do better than the 1.5" figure I cited with factory ammo.) I've owned a number of double rifles over the years. One very nice Francotte sxs double sidelock in 375 H&H wouldn't do better than about 2.5" after considerable load development. Same was true for a Franz Sodia boxlock O/U .338 and a Beretta trigger-plate actioned O/U in 9.3 x 74mm. So you can see that, in the context, the H&H 300's accuracy was, in fact, quite extraordinary.

    One doesn't buy a double rifle for benchrest accuracy, but rather for a number of other qualities. Of these, a quick second shot is of indisputable advantage--particularly with a dangerous-game rifle. The other virtues are more aesthetic and soul-satisfying--sort of like owning a pair of Edward Green shoes instead of a pair of perfectly practical Allen-Edmonds shoes! [​IMG] However, when you come across a double that has bolt-gun accuracy, this just adds to the value of it. If you will ask some of your associates about whether 1.5" at 100 yards is good double-rifle accuracy, they'll say, I predict, "Hell yes!"
     


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