What a lucky find! Thanks Philip Fust – Das Emporium for supplying me with another rare masterpiece by the Swiss Army Saddlers. This piece was probably never in real use and since I have not seen any similar before it might be “just” a prototype. It is made out of solid 3 mm swiss bridle leather and stitched by hand. Notice the hidden seams to avoid friction on a thread on one side. The handles suggest that it was not made for heavy duty use like ammunition or mortarshells. My guess it was made for maps, however the aluminium reenforced bottom suggest the items carried inside had some weight. Interesting is also the attachment loop with a buckle. Probably it is there to attach the container to a pole (of a Jeep). It will serve me as an inspiration for future leatherworks im designing or even being used to store cut leatherpieces rolled in it and work mobile on my Riese & Müller cargo bike somewhere in summer in the courtryside. The size of the bag is 50 x 32 x 14,5 cm.
What a great surprise arrived saturday via the postman. A follower of be-cause saved this treasure from the dustbin and decided It will be well cared and used in my hands. The postcard he attached says that the tools are from a cobbler/saddler who repaired shoes in WWII and afterwards in the neighbourhood. I really like the fact to know a bit of a background, since most tools I own, I just can makeup stories in my mind about who used them. I also like the fact that it is a complete essential leather repair kit, with beeswax, cobblers tar, needles, overstitch wheel, knife, pliers and awls. I especially like the way the stored the thread. Thanks a “PLG”!
Restauration of US Mail Bag 1968 by Merit Leather. 60 x 42 x 12 cm.
It was a hell of a work but for sure worth it. Merit leather sadly used a bad thread or did not wax it, so all the stitches were breaking apart. Good news however they used good leather. So to rescue this unique piece I did it right and completly took the bag apart and redid everything. I used solid copper rivets and waxed Gruschwitz Linen thread 18/5. It was all saddlestitched by hand and I´m very convinced that falling apart seams are no issues for the further decades of use of this bag.
Vintage Swiss Army Duffle Bag from 1974
For my leatherworks some of the biggest inspirations are vintage items which passed the years of use with ease. By studying the wear you can get precious lessons on how to design items with the same goal to craft a lifetimepiece. This vintage swiss army duffle bag have not seem to get any use at all but it is still a masterpiece of a simple, timeless and well crafted bag. Well placed reinforcements, solid rivets and great materials. You see on the type of canvas (no salt and pepper) that it´s of newer origin, I got a toolroll of the same material. Remember to really give those items a good treatment of leatheroil to ensure the dried out leather wont break. Once its broken the damage is done. That what I did immediately. Thanks a lot to Stefan Feichtinger who gave this bag to me at the Boot Root Odershow in Zürich as a present by knowing the bag will be well cared and understood.
Last weekend i had the chance to visit the Wunderkammer in Zürich – what a magic place with so many precious pieces from the past. I had a nice chat with Christian who is a avid collector of rare and special objects from all over the globe. His favorite subject is to find exceptional taxidermies for his collection or for his clients. Definitely highly recommended when you are in Zürich.
Beckwing / Red Wing 9051 Resole by Ingo Keller
I just got back my run down Red Wings 9051 Boots / Beckwings from Ingo Keller aka. Schuhgott for a resole. I have to say they came back far better than how they were, even when new. Just look at the finish of the heel. He recreated the heel and put a Daimite sole on them. Excellent job Ingo, highly recommended craftsman.