Founded in Germany in 1891, the name Leonhard Heyden is synonymous with high quality bags made from superior materials by some of the world’s most talented craftsmen and women. It is Leonhard Heyden’s range of Gladstone Bags that are particularly popular as gifts for Christmas and other occasions and which are patronised not only by professional men, but by fashionable women also.
The first Gladstone bag was developed in the 19th century, and named after the UK Prime Minister of the day. In those days, as today, the very best bags were made from high quality leather, by long experienced time-served tradesmen.
As an item of luggage the Gladstone Bag is quite unlike any other bag, being that it has two inner compartments, compared to most bags that usually have just one.
The bag was originally patronised by doctors and lawyers in Victorian England, and created by just one or two leathermakers and tanners in the city of London. Yesterday’s Gladstone bags were for the rich and famous and were unavailable to the masses until quite recent times. Antique bags can still be found at flea markets and antiques fairs, but they’re generally tired looking and tatty, sometimes with holes where the leather has worn away from long and constant use. So they’re hardly attractive, except to collectors, and they don’t make great gifts for modern day bag enthusiasts. Despite their age, most vintage designs have very little life left in them, other than as an attractive or decorative reminder of earlier times. And that is why firms like Leonhard Heyden have created designs to suit modern day enthusiasts while still retaining the basic design and quality of the original design. They’re not cheap, but they are extremely attractive, and they’re built to last.
Unfortunately there are many poorly manufactured bags on the market today using inferior materials and sometimes having just one inner compartment, usually with an outside resembling the original design of the Gladstone bag, and sometimes not. These inferior designs are rarely built on a sturdy frame, as are today’s quality designs by Leonhard Heyden and his followers, and in many cases the inferior modern day designs are created around cheap plastic frames that quickly break or fall out of shape.
As a gift to last, only a quality Gladstone bag will suffice, and they don’t come much better than designs by Leonhard Heyden.