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Saturday, 9 July 2011

Case Closed

The summer season and holidays go hand in hand and this year is no exception to that appealing combination.  New to Graham Smith Antiques are some exciting luggages to make you stand out on your travels.  The advantage of buying antique luggage is intrinsic to the suitcase, bag or trunk’s design, the evidence of quality and craftsmanship throughout their skin.  When surveying the leather Gladstone bag, for example, one cannot resist imagining the journeys it had once been on, many years ago in some cases. 

Made in the early 20th century, this bag is named after the type of fastening, the style of which you may associate with a doctor's bag.  With a central, brass locking catch (with key) and end brass swivel catches, you can have confidence in retaining your belongings whilst travelling (it would be a challenge for even the boldest of pick pocket!).  The bag is lined with sturdy, unblemished cotton and a single pocket for any items you may wish to locate quickly.  Despite the small split to the leather at one end, the bag is still in usable condition and offers the temptations of a dream holiday!

1920's Leather Gladstone Bag

In 18th century Britain, during the Empirical days, it was commonplace for civil servants and high-ranking officers of the military to travel with campaign furniture.  As described by Nicholas A. Brawer in his book entitled: British Campaign Furniture: Elegance Under Canvas, 1740-1914, campaign furniture was designed to be transported with ease, durability and style.  These credentials are still available today through Graham Smith Antiques with two of our campaign chests in the shop.  

Victorian Oak Campaign Chest

Maker's label

This fine example of barrack furniture, with military plate handles, is designed to split in two and the bun feet can unscrew to be stored within the chest when being transported.  The oak foundations and framework are in good condition and are bound securely with brass.  With brilliant simplicity, this Victorian campaign chest will suit both period and contemporary interiors.  The maker of this military chest was a John Drew of 2.Great Warner Street, London, as seen on the etched, ivory label in the drawer of the chest.  It was Drew's descendants who constructed the fitted leather dressing case in the 1920's, shown in the photograph below.

Fitted Leather Dressing Case

The case is signed by the makers "Drew & Sons Piccadilly Circus" on the inside edge. Brass locking catches and glimmering silk style material holds: beauty vessels, brushes and combs as well as a jewellery box, shoe horn, glove stretcher, a manicure set and mirror.  Not only does this sophisticated case still have the original, built in contents; all the items with lids are silver, complete with hallmarks 1920's London and the maker's name, "George Carsberg & Son".  So no matter where your holiday destination may be, whether it's a business trip, a city break or a country escape, Graham Smith Antiques offers your holiday something really special.

Thank you for reading the Graham Smith Antiques blog. If you are interested in the items we have mentioned then you can visit our website, visit us in store or follow us via Facebook or Twitter.

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