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Whangee-handled Brigg: Why so dear?

DocHolliday

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I've been looking at Brigg umbrellas lately, and I've taken a fancy to the whangee handle. But at classicluggage.com, the whangee is significantly more expensive than all the woods; even the silver-capped Prince of Wales model is less costly. My question is why? Is bending the whangee that much of a chore? It doesn't seem like the material itself should be pricey.

I also notice that the whangee isn't even listed on the Brigg Web site, except under the "special order" category. Surely it's available in their store?

Anyone with thoughts, specific or general?
 

RJman

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The whangee is hard to obtain. Some years ago, I tried to order a whangee-handled Brigg from englishhall.com and was told that the plant from which the wood was obtained was harder and harder to source (from Korea, apparently). However, Brigg happily made me a special whangee handle for my Brigg travel umbrella last year, although it was wrenchingly expensive.
 

RJman

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I like it, although I wish it were a bit smaller. I had the sterling collar engraved, and now wish that it had been possible to engrave it with "Stolen from [RJman]."
 

LabelKing

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Brigg umbrellas are chunky now, looking like sticks used for hiking rather than dress umbrellas as someone suggested to me while I was looking at one in the store. Here is a circa 1920 British umbrella with a stag's horn handle, solid gold collar and original fabric canopy that I have:
 

RJman

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Do you mean the ones at Cable Car? They err on chunky. You could probably buy a women's model which would be daintier. The Malacca-handled models are relatively sleek. You can buy a bark chestnut or ash umbrella made from a single piece of wood and those are indeed cudgel-like.

The sterling is sterling -- solid sterling and hallmarked. Seems fine so far. I like it more than the gold plate on my Malacca handle. Both are nice though.
 

DocHolliday

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That's alarming, LabelKing. I'd seen some pictures that made me a bit nervous about that very subject. I consider the whangee fairly casual, as far as umbrella handles go, but I would like the umbrella to stay elegantly rolled. Do you have any alternative recommendations?

I've always had a soft spot for James Smith, but especially lately, in light of recent posts about service at the respective stores. But I don't know of a U.S. supplier for Smith umbrellas, and I'm in an odd spot where I need a U.S. source.
 

LabelKing

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Originally Posted by RJman
Do you mean the ones at Cable Car? They err on chunky. You could probably buy a women's model which would be daintier. The Malacca-handled models are relatively sleek. You can buy a bark chestnut or ash umbrella made from a single piece of wood and those are indeed cudgel-like.
They also had them at the Wilkes Bashford, lined up on the stairs. Women's umbrellas would have that ball-shaped handle, which is impractical; either that or they are too short, which is neither here or there. The one in my picture is actually a solid stick shaft, and it's hardly medieval-like. Actually, from looking at the Classicluggage site, it seems the whangee and leather covered umbrellas are slim while some of the others strike as big-boned.
 

RJman

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LK, Brigg's ladies umbrellas can be and I think are sold with a normal crooked handle. They can also make an umbrella to the length you want.

While I can't think of any tendril-thin models Brigg makes, the malacca and whangee stay tightly rolled and are quite elegant.

There was a thing called Brella Bar in NY that may have had other suppliers. I can't think of a source for other good umbrella makers in the US right now.
 

RJman

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[dbl post]
 

RJman

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Brigg is very expensive and like its neighbors on St James' St Lobb (and maybe Lock, too) inclined to aloofness or even peremptoriness. There are other makers out there offering quality products for much less, including Smith in London and Madeleine Gely in Paris. Can't think of where you'd get them in the States though.
There was a German website selling a few other makes of umbrella like Knirps. Would that help? I am sure someone else can remember the URL. Another quality maker is Maglia Francesca. Turnbull & Asser in London sold T. Fox umbrellas, maybe they have those on sale in NYC.
 

DocHolliday

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Originally Posted by RJman
Brigg is very expensive and like its neighbors on St James' St Lobb (and maybe Lock, too) inclined to aloofness or even peremptoriness. There are other makers out there offering quality products for much less, including Smith in London and Madeleine Gely in Paris. Can't think of where you'd get them in the States though.
There was a German website selling a few other makes of umbrella like Knirps. Would that help? I am sure someone else can remember the URL. Another quality maker is Maglia Francesca. Turnbull & Asser in London sold T. Fox umbrellas, maybe they have those on sale in NYC.


The key is the whangee. I already have a nice umbrella, but I've been watching too many "Avengers" DVDs lately... I wonder how many umbrellas Brigg has sold based on that program.

How is Knirps compared with Brigg? My knowledge of non-English umbrella makers is very poor.

I appreciate all the comments/suggestions/help, guys.
 

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