Monday, June 22, 2009

James Smith & Sons

James Smith & Sons Ltd
Hazelwood House
53 New Oxford Street
(Cnr New Oxford and Bloomsbury St)
London WC1A 1BL

June 2009.

This store is just unreal, and it was so much fun taking a peak for in the store after all these years of just passing it by.You do step back in time when entering (which I approve of), as store shopping is being otherwise very dull these days.

As you see from the pictures, the art of Umbrella making hasn't changed much since 1830. The internet site pictures also give the feeling that its the type of place Sherlock Holmes would feel very comfortable in!

To the equipment: This is wide and varied, with 90% of the shop selling its traditional wares with the other 10% being the new ready made almost disposable type ;-) of umbrella and walking canes.

The range of materials for these masterly works of art (umbrellas and walking canes) seemed endless, from standard wood types, horns and metals to the more exotic materials from 'other worlds'.

I was there to review a few umbrella types for a good M8, including Elsbeere, polished Hickory and Plank Ash. We were also lucky to be shown the last of an Old Oak end of line. The Elsbeere is very reddish, the Hickory a dark brown, the plank ask was a layered burnt Ash and the Old Oak a rich dark brown/black wood. All very exquisite and I don't think you'd go wrong with any of them.

The assistant (John) showed us the many varied colours of coverings but the main choices for the gentleman being black, dark blue and dark green. These umbrellas are not cheap but I guess we all know that quality goes a long way and it's not like you will ever buy another brolly like this!

If ordering, they do need to know your height, as the umbrellas come extra long at the tip and are adjusted to suit. I should add the ladies' umbrellas are just as amazing and my guest for the tour was very taken by their delicate construction. I fear ;-) we will return to this store very soon.

Next time you're in London, its worth a checking out just for the atmosphere.

;-) Jp

1 comment:

Gary said...

JP, Awesome review. The store is just sooo old school that its coool! :)