While Rutherfords of England has only been around a few years, the company is built on decades of experience. Fortunate enough to inherit the tools and talent when saddlery firm Shuttleworths of Chester shut down operations in 2010, Rutherfords now produces leather handbags durable enough to rival the toughest saddlebag. Pinned together with brass fixings, the bags are constructed from vegetable-tanned, sustainable bridle leather from Joseph Clayton & Sons.
Staying true to the heritage, the bridle briefcase looks fit for royalty. An arched top and brass key lock signal a bag that is as architectural as it is portable. Contrast that with the music case, which channels a classic design meant originally to hold music sheets. Nowadays, the bag is more likely to house semi-mobile tech, but it’s all the same to this workaday brief. Especially interesting is the handle, which relies on a single loop that is secured by opposing straps bound with a brass closure—the whole thing is as pared-down as it comes.
But the real star of the show is also the least practical. Rutherfords’ ostrich gun case is an ostentatious statement of gun-nuttery for the upper echelons. Shunning an off-the-rack approach to firearm portage, these cases are custom-made to fit a rifle as well as tools and other accoutrements. The exterior is affixed with pebbled ostrich leather and brass corners that sit over a solid oak frame. Finally, a lock ensures that only a responsible key-holder will have access to its contents.
Also sporting ostrich leather is the Gladstone, a carry-all bag that lives up to the name. The friendly, frumpy silhouette gives one the sense that this bag can (and will) take anything you throw in it. And an oversized shoulder pad ensures comfort, no matter how long it takes for that holiday flight to board.
Rutherfords of England is available online exclusively through Crest & Co.
Images courtesy of Rutherford of England