Swaine Adeney Brigg is one of the oldest and traditional manufacturers of the highest quality equestrian and leather goods in the world. They are based in historic St James’s in London.
Swaine Adeney Brigg currently holds Royal warrants of appointment as ‘whip and glove makers’ to HRH The Queen and supplier of umbrellas to HRH The Prince of Wales.
In 1750, John Ross founded a an equestrian whip making business at 238 Piccadilly, London W1. James Swaine later purchased this business in 1798, having for some years been foreman of a successful whip making business in Holborn.
Shortly afterwards Royal appointments as a supplier of whips to King George III and to his sons, The Prince of Wales and the Dukes of York, Clarence, Kent, Cumberland and Cambridge quickly followed and Swaine Adeney’s reputation for quality and excellence was established.
In 1883, Queen Victoria awarded the company a Royal warrant of appointment- the first ever for umbrellas, to Thomas Brigg & Sons. Further Royal Appointments were also awarded by Queen Victoria and by Edward VI.
The company still supplies agent 007’s-James Bonds brief cases, as they have since 1963. The ‘Q Case’ is the particular model, with its distinctive red skiver leather lining which is also available to buy. The company’s association with giants of the silver screen does not stop there.
Before London milliner Herbert Johnson joined Swaine Adeney Brigg, it was situated at 13 Old Burlington Street. In 1980 Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford visited the shop. The subsequent discussion led to the production of the ‘Indy Hat’ as worn in the famous series of Indian Jones films: one of the most instantly recognisable and iconic pieces of headwear. The hat which was and is still known as the ‘Poet’ hat, a tall crowned, Herbert Johnson wide brim brushed fur felt, is still available from Swaine Adeney Brigg.
The character Steed in the classic TV series The Avengers, was often seen with his classic ‘Brigg whangee’ umbrella. The umbrella handle of this model is made from ‘whangee’ which comes from the root of a type of Bamboo, which gains its unique appearance from soil erosion on the sharp gradient where it is grown, exposing it to the elements. It is sent to the company where they bleach, boil and eventually bend and fashion it into a burnished handle, which is then attached to the unique Brigg shaft and frame.
Swaine Adeney Brigg umbrellas for men and women can be ordered with a plated gold or silver collar and nylon or silk canopy. The handles are available in a wide range of wooden and horn materials. There are other options such as with the Malacca Cane two-piece which includes a hidden drinking flask or a gold-leaf pencil embedded in the handle. The company’s artisans in Cambridge have the skills to incorporate such bespoke elements into the wide range of products the produce.
The company also produces exquisite hand made leather goods and luggage, including the special travel editions available for Aston Martin and Morgan cars.
All Swaine Adeney Brigg products can be found here.