Wonderful patinated dark brown leather Norfolk hide attaché case, circa 1920. This one has a hand stitched replaced leather handle, a replacement lining to the interior in black Alcantara and no initials. The front lip of the case is stamped with patent number, 'Warranted Solid Leather’ and makers mark; 'Ashtona Standard'.
Dimensions: 47 cm/18½ inches (length) x 31.5 cm/12½ inches (depth) x 10.75 cm/4¼ 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.