Vintage leather ‘Pakawa’ suitcase made by Barrow, Hepburn and Gale, London. ‘Pakawa’ was their trade name for their luggage.
This lovely case has 2 brass locks and is lined with a checked pattern fabric inside. Above the leather carrying handle is a ‘Pakawa, (registered) Made In England’ badge. The inside lining is coming away near the edge and has a few marks. Outside the case has some surface marks and scratches. 2 keys come with this case. Please see images.
History: Established in 1760, Barrow Hepburn & Gale is a luxury British leather goods company, internationally known as the manufacturer of the iconic red Despatch Boxes; a symbol of the British democratic system and our constitutional monarchy.
London has always been the centre of the finest leather goods, and Barrow Hepburn and Gale traces its history back to 1760 when John Hepburn set up his first tannery in Bermondsey. Bermondsey was a historic leather district, and by the time Hepburn arrived was already known for its tanneries, and was home of the Commonalty of the Mystery of Tanners of St Mary Magdalen Bermondsey of Surrey – a guild which was given royalty charter by Queen Anne in 1703.
Through a series of mergers, Barrow Hepburn and Gale came to be one of the largest leather concerns in London and England in the 20th century, with Hepburn and Gale merging with Ross and Co in 1901. Given the size of this new company they were called upon to produce goods for British and Empire troops during The Great War, supplying leather for items such as saddles, belts and cases for officers and soldiers, and then again during the Second World War, they were called upon by the War Department to make leather goods and webbing for soldiers, sailors and airmen.
In 1920 Hepburn and Gale merged with Samuel Barrow and Brother, a company founded in 1848, creating Barrow Hepburn and Gale and continued making a broader range of leather goods and expanding its operations to “trunks, suitcases, attaché cases, document cases, industrial gloves and aprons”.
- Please remember when buying vintage items, they will have signs of use but that is also what makes them so unique. We do our best to photograph and explain the condition of the item as best we can. If you have any questions about a particular item, please contact us. Please take the time to look at all pictures.
Product Code: 31415
Styling: Use everyday as a travel case or upcycle it into a bedside table, turn it sideways and make shelving with it, a side table or footstool. Keep it as is for a display item in any home, B&B, hotel, bar, restaurant, or retail space.