Patinated dark brown leather Norfolk hide attaché case with polished brass catches, circa 1920. This one has a replacement hand stitched leather handle, the back hinge of leather has been replaced and it has a new lining to the interior in black Alcantara. The front lip of the case is stamped with patent number, and marked; 'Warranted Solid Leather’. Initialed F.E. on the lid.
Dimensions: 38 cm/15 inches (length) x 25 cm/9⅞ inches (depth) x 8.5 cm/3⅜ inches (height)
Norfolk hide is one of the best-kept secrets harboured by collectors and dealers in fine luggage, and is highly prized. It is possibly the most unusual process in the manufacture of leather goods, which results in an entirely distinctive moulded finish. The process makes the leather stronger and more rigid, giving it a visual and tactile density more normally associated with wood and a real depth of patination. It also appears unusually free of structural seams and stitching, the parts are all of one piece, with no apparent joins. Interestingly, Norfolk hide takes its name from the fact that items were manufactured in Norfolk Street, Sheffield - and not, as one might assume, in the county of Norfolk.