A Fabulous Crocodile Skin & Silk Lined Travelling Case of Drew & Sons, Piccadilly Circus, London


Origin: English
Period: Early Twentieth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1905
Height: 7 inches (flat)
Width: 18 inches
Depth: 12 inches

Together with associated gilded manicure this rather splendid travelling case from the Edwardian era is in superb original condition. Initialled A.L.W. to the top with the makers name Drew & Sons, Piccadilly Circus, London clearly embossed in gilt, and with a fitted interior, the leather has a beautiful patina and lustrous natural shine. The handle, stitching and studs are all sound, whilst the solid brass locks are still in working order. The only condition defects to note are the part collapse of two pockets in the interior along with a couple of blemishes.

There are several associated items that were found with the case, including a Mappin & Webb manicure set (though in poor order), a pocket crocodile skin case and a dressing mirror. Another pleasing original touch is the COOKS World Travel Service label still attached to the handle – now known as Thomas Cook, he started his world tours in the 1860s.

Drew & Sons were based at number 33 Piccadilly Circus from 1887, until 1914, when they moved to premises in Regent Street. They also had premises at Leadenhall Street in London from 1888-1914 and also at Kings Road in Brighton from 1894. Samuel Summers Drew founded his firm around 1844. The company was best known for their bags such as this one, and also cases, picnic sets, trunks and other leather goods. The company were also listed as gold and silver workers.

Samuel Summers Drew had either retired or died by January 15, 1914 and Ernest and John Summers Drew, his sons, took the business on. The firm became Ltd. in 1928 and it was in business at least into the mid 1930's.

This immaculately original case is a wonderful throwback to the Edwardian era where traveling in luxurious style was simply essential for those who moved in high circles.