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What are your thoughts on this 1970s leather briefcase? Restore or keep as is?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Cognacad, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. Cognacad

    Cognacad Senior member

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    Hi all! I was given this bag and I am wondering if it is worth anything. I am not looking to sell it, but am rather curious. buckles are functional, no holes, no big gashes, and seems to generally be in decent shape. It is handmade from the 1970s.

    How much would it cost to restore such a thing? Is it worth restoring, or is the old school look most of the appeal? As you can see in the last picture the bag includes only one large component.

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  2. Cognacad

    Cognacad Senior member

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    Anybody!? I haven't posted in a very long time but when I used to post people loved to look at old briefcases and comment on them!
     
  3. JP Marcellino

    JP Marcellino Senior member

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    what do you mean by restore? how?

    looks great to me. who made it?
     
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  4. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    Give it a nice conditioning job, and call it finished.
     
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  5. Cognacad

    Cognacad Senior member

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    I don't know anything about leather really. What does a conditioning job entail? Is that something I would do or would I give it to a professional?
     
  6. JP Marcellino

    JP Marcellino Senior member

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    You can rub some lexol conditioner to help soften it up. As I'm looking at the top pic again, is that water stains I see on the bottom?
     
  7. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    You buy a leather conditioner and follow the instructions, which usually consist of, "wipe onto surface of leather and wait". Lexol and Saphir Renovateur are the standard choices around here, either would be fine. Basically, you're replacing oils in the leather that may have dried out over time. It'll soften up the leather, and more importantly, keeps it from cracking. You may also notice darkening, especially if the leather really is dried out, since dried out leather tends to lighten. There are also good odds that you'll get a nice variation in tone, which is known as patina, and a big draw of non-black leather.
     
  8. ter1413

    ter1413 Senior member

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    +1. I like as is.....depending on if the leather is cracking.
     
  9. Cognacad

    Cognacad Senior member

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    Thanks for the feedback. It might very well be water damage at the bottom, I don't know. The leather does seem to be cracking at a small section on an edge, but that is about it. Maybe I will buy some stuff and give it a shot! Is there a chance I could ruin it or something, or would that really require a big mess-up?

    Can someone give me a ballpark regarding how much its worth? Just curious. If I had to guess I would say....50$? Heh, no idea.
     
  10. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    You're not gonna ruin leather by giving it a coat of conditioner. Just wet a rag, wipe it on, let it absorb. If it soaks in really quickly, do a second coat. Stuff like lexol is made specifically to preserve leather, you're not going to risk ruining it.

    And it's worth what somebody wants to pay for a nice, but used, briefcase on e-bay. Look at completed listings, though I would keep it and use it for myself.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013
  11. JP Marcellino

    JP Marcellino Senior member

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    ebay is good advise to price the bag, good luck
     
  12. JayJay

    JayJay Senior member

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    Good at advice. This is all that's needed.
     

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