Tuesday, 19 November 2013

A bag for life

I'd like to share with you a beautiful object - a bag.  A 1950s Swiss army Corporals map bag, as it turns out.

I spied one in a vintage shop in Budapest in the summer and fell instantly in love... but despite it's simple design with beautiful detailing, quality craftsmanship and history embedded in the patina of the leather, I dithered and let it slip through my fingers... just how, I still don't know!

The one pictured here is a slightly older version, with even more pared down simplicity of design but still with a burnished leather finish that comes with hours of active service.  It is an ingenious design, made of only two panels.  One simply seamed to make the robust front and sides, the second makes the back of the bag, stretching up and over to create the brilliant envelope type flap.  The dots of white stitching on the top edge is where a strip of leather has been stitched inside to create two simple slots to hold pens.  The strap comes up from the back, satchel style, giving the whole thing a beautiful balance when worn.

The Budapest bag had an embossed Swiss army cross which later provided a useful clue.  My one is marked with Josterwalder Bazenheid, thought to be the manufacturers name and location.  Unbeknown to me, it was tracked down, via eBay, to Switzerland, then was won whilst out in China and delivered to the UK for my birthday....I'm a very very lucky girl!  Thank you Warren.