It’s Our Birthday! Thank You for 15 Years!

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How it all Began… From an inspirational trip to a North-West Indian market in 1998, to the creation of our first leather satchel in 2006, the realisation and conception of Scaramanga (born from... READ MORE

Indian Summer Interiors | by Scaramanga

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Indian Summer Interiors Indian Summer Interiors bring the colours of that special time of year in August when the sun shines brightly to enhance the natural colours outside. On these bright sunny days,... READ MORE

Sustainability with Style

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Back in the ‘good-old’ days…after the Industrial Revolution, new technologies, new materials and seemingly endless energy sources made it more profitable to create brand new products from scratch rather than repair and reuse... READ MORE

Bring your interiors outside this summer

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The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and the evenings are wonderfully light – it must be British summertime! Here at Scaramanga, we love our vintage and retro homewares, but they don’t... READ MORE

Behind The Scenes: The Scaramanga Office | Online Shopping

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Gateside Mills, Gateside
Gateside Mills, Gateside – The Scaramanga Store.
  Online shopping is the 21st century internet equivalent of the microwave meal: quick, convenient and fuss-free. Of course, it can never replace the real ‘day out with the girls’ shopping experience, but is there not also a new-found thrill in the suspense of hearing the mail drop through your letter box and hoping that your Amazon/eBay/Topshop order has arrived? But that’s just the thing: you click a button on your computer screen at home, and then a few days later it drops through your mailbox… What happens in between? Continued

Vintage & Retro Furniture & Interiors at Auction

 

retro furniture
Vintage Travel Trunks

The key to finding vintage and retro furniture is simply to search. Antique shops, bric-a-brac shops, interiors stores, flea markets, car boot sales, and auction rooms – you might find a vintage gem anywhere, even in the most unexpected of places. Continued

Vintage Furniture Near Me | Our Guide To Vintage Furniture Part 1

 

vintage furniture near me
Vintage Livingroom

 

Looking to give your living space a fresh look for Spring? Need a little inspiration? Scaramanga’s Guide To Vintage Furniture might help. You no longer have to search, vintage furniture near me, we have you covered. It’s this time of year that we start our spring cleaning to get our homes ready for Summer. There are simple ways that you can give your home a vintage upgrade without breaking the bank. We have put together some top tips to help you get the vintage home you’ve always dreamed of.  Continued

Buried Pirate Treasure Chest: Fact or Fake News

The 16th and 17th century pirate definitely existed and so did their gold, silver and gems filled treasure chest, wooden legs, eye patches, parrots, skull and cross-bones. Did they really bury their pirate treasure chest and make a map to find later?

The legendary pirate chest definitely existed: a wooden storage trunk which pirates used to carry around their ‘loot’ or ‘booty’. The reasoning was that such wooden chests were used by pirates as they were easy to move around. This was also put in place to avoid their ‘loot’ being stolen by other pirates, privateers or government troops and officials. Pirate mythology and countless films and books recount that when they feared a chest’s imminent seizure, they would bury it in a remote location, and with the aid of a treasure map, return and claim the treasure later.

Pirate treasure
Captain Kidd in New York Harbour by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris. Captain William Kidd welcoming a young woman on board his ship; other men and women crowd the deck as another woman steps aboard. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty images)

The only pirate known to have buried his treasure chest was William Kidd, born in Dundee 1654. Captain Kidd was hired by the British government as a privateer. This was to hunt down pirates attacking British ships around North America and the Caribbean. When he failed to find any pirates, he became one himself. Striking it rich when he attacked a French ship returning from India. It’s believed that he buried some of his treasure on islands while sailing to Boston. Unfortunately, the law on privateering changed, he was caught, tried for piracy in London. It’s reported that he offered part of his hidden treasure as a bribe. It didn’t work. He was found guilty and hung in 1701. Legend has it he said that if he was killed, his treasure would never be found!

pirate treasure chest

Rumours and legends of buried pirate treasure chests from his adventures before he returned to his home in New York are still circulating. A very large silver bar was found aboard one of Captain Kidd’s sunken ships in 2015. Since then people are still looking for his buried treasure chest.

In reality pirates rarely found a treasure chest filled with gold, silver and gems. Many plundered ships carrying: food, calico, silk, opium, tea and slaves. A looted treasure chest wouldn’t have stayed full for long. The pirates would have quickly divided it up and spent it on arrival in ports. The most likely explanation for the myth is that Captain Kidd became the inspiration for the epic pirate novel Treasure Island written by 1883 by Robert Louis Stevenson. It myth was also recounted by Edgar Allan Poe in The Gold Bug. Captain Kidd’s and other blood thirsty pirates’ exploits looting treasure chests over- flowing with gold have become more exaggerated over time. Buried pirate treasure didn’t really exist, but that shouldn’t stop us reliving their exploits and recreating their adventures.

Pirate treasure chest
Pirates’ treasure chest and booty

As a result of this romantic scenario through the ages, pirates’ chests have been considered a symbol of wealth and mystery. With such positive connotations of wealth, combined with their unique design style, the pirate chest has also always been considered a thing of beauty – both back in the day and in modern times too. Typically, wooden, iron bound to keep the heavy contents from bursting out, and featuring handles and a strong padlock. The pirate’s treasure chest was probably a sea chest or travel trunk used by the captain, other officers or travellers for their clothes, personal possession and instruments. A pirate chest could also have been a very heavy wooden strong box or coffer used by governments for transporting gold coins and bars.

Treasure chest late Victorian travel trunk

The travel trunk above is a late Victorian trunk from 1890s and would have been similar to the trunks pirates would have used to store their treasure. Modern day ‘treasure chests’ might come in various shapes and sizes: from smaller memory boxes or jewellery chests with lots of compartments and trays, padlocks for keeping your ‘treasures’ locked away, to larger blanket and storage chests which will make a bolder pirate-style statement. Whichever size and style suit your personal taste, Scaramanga has a wide range of antique and vintage wooden chests, coffers, trunks and boxes which look like pirates chests, for storing your own personal valuables. So, whilst there may never truly have been any buried pirate’s treasure to discover, the beauty of the treasure chest need not remain a myth – you can display one in your own home.

Antique red treasure chest
Antique red treasure chest

Scaramanga specialises in antique wooden chests, antique travel trunks, antique coffers, kists, blanket boxes and antique storage boxes. We probably have one of the widest ranges in the UK. Each antique wooden chest and trunk has been meticulously restored by skilled craftsmen to ensure it can be used for many years to come. See our range of wood storage trunks and pirate chests.

 

What’s in your man bag?

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What’s in your Man bag /men’s messenger bag/satchel?

The contents in a man bag can tell a lot about a person. A computer indicates a business man who works on the go. A leather journal may suggest a creative person who likes to keep a notebook handy for whenever they get inspiration. Furthermore, a messy bag with random objects suggests someone who lives a chaotic and busy life. A leather satchel bag is an extension of who you are and the life you lead, so it’s important you choose the right one.

leather-travel-bag-mlg-2

 

It’s not surprising that men and women carry different items in their bags. Men tend to carry more electronic items like their iPhone or computer. This seems to be down to men’s lust for technology, as these gadgets can be bulky. We no longer want to stuff our pockets full of items as bulging pockets just don’t look right.

The beauty of having a leather shoulder bag is that it can be any size to suit your life needs. If you are a business man who needs to fit paperwork, laptop and spare clothes for the gym, a large briefcase with extra compartments would help you achieve this. If you are looking for a subtle bag to fit your essentials and nothing more, a small messenger bag would make the perfect choice!

man bag

The Statistics

Four times as many men carry a laptop in their man bag compared with women. However, did you know that almost twice as many men than women carry glossy magazines? This can sometimes feel as heavy as a computer. We have also learned that 50% of men and women in London carry a book in their leather messenger bags.

Out of pure curiosity we’d like know what’s in your man bag and could you cope without your man bag, messenger bag or satchel?

leather-messenger-bag-wbs-8

Scaramanga’s men’s leather bag range includes: leather messenger bags, leather satchels and travel bags. Feel free to contact us for any further information.

Scaramanga’s Quick Guide to Writing a Travel Journal

Scaramanga's Leather Travel Journal
Scaramanga’s Leather Travel Journal

It is finally here, and not too soon, Summer ’19! We are sure you have started planning your summer holidays, short breaks and around the world trips. The wonderful thing about writing and recording a trip means it will be remembered for many years to come.

Scaramanga have created a short guide to writing a leather travel journal, with useful advice and twenty helpful tips. Continued

Scaramanga’s Guide on the Leather Satchel for Men

posted in: Leather Bags | 8

We get asked by a lot from people to make recommendations and give advice on the wide range of men’s leather bags we sell. In addition, to give you a rough guide on the leather satchel for men, we have put together our most popular leather messenger bags, satchels and man bags.

leather laptop bag

Leather Messenger Bag for Men

There are almost as many names for fashionable leather bags as there are uses for them. We’ve heard them called: messenger bags, leather satchel for men, courier bags, despatch bags, man bags, and reporter bags. We can assure you that it doesn’t matter what you call it, the leather messenger bag will always make a great choice.

Before we go any further we’d better explain exactly what a man bag is. Simply derived from ‘man’ and ‘handbag’, they’re fashionable bags for men that combine style – e.g. a vintage worn leather look – with function.

Technically a briefcase is a man bag; in the current sense of the term man bag refers to a less formal men’s shoulder bag that includes the messenger bag. Furthermore, they are more casual than briefcases, but far more stylish than a scruffy canvas rucksack.
Of course they’re nothing new. In the past, no discerning gentleman in the UK would not have been seen without a leather Gladstone bag.

Leather Laptop Bag

The Leather Satchel for Men

Similar to the messenger bag, the leather satchel for men is a classic bag with wonderful history. Satchel bags were traditionally used as school bags in the 1950’s. Today, the tradition has evolved in to a highly popular man bag.

Remember Indiana Jones’ or Chewbaca’s satchels? Man bags have become more popular in the last few years mainly due to the fact we’re carrying more stuff around with us today and bulging pockets just don’t look right.

leather satchel for men

leather satchel for men

How to choose your bag

Function

The first thing to consider is, what is your new bag going to be used for? It’s no longer a simple case of small bags for women; large bags for men.
Is it going to be used for carrying a few items like your mobile / iPhone, tablet, compact digital camera and keys? If yes, then a smaller messenger bag or satchel is best. They’re also more practical for travelling on crowded public transport.
Laptops, A4 folders and files, books and magazines would need a larger bag, but the larger the bag the more likely you are to fill it and the heavier it gets! We always recommend using a protective sleeve such as those sold by Belkin.

If in doubt, opt for the middle option: a medium sized bag. If you have a lot of things to carry and you are super organised then lots of pockets and compartments are essential. Generally you will end up putting more into your new satchel bag for men than anticipated so allow extra space.

satchel bag for men

Style


Choose a style that suits your preference. Do you prefer longer bags, a satchel that fits a laptop or a smaller man bag to fit small essentials?
Long bags are deep, hang lower and are ideal for A4 files and paperwork. Furthermore, wide bags are more popular and look more like the iconic cycle messenger bags.

With straps and buckles, satchels have that retro old school look and feel to them. Although safer, they need a little more effort to get into.
Top tip: if you like satchels and their buckles, but think they’re too cumbersome to fasten and unfasten, just wear it with the buckles unfastened.

Material

Without a doubt leather looks best and is hardwearing. A tan leather messenger bag will soften a little and taken on a slightly darker worn look and feel. A tan leather satchel bag is made with distressed or vintage leather, so you don’t have to wait five years for the bag to look like that vintage leather bag you really wanted from day one.

Though canvas messenger bags may be light and foldable, they don’t really hold their own shape and sometimes trying to get something out of them can seem like a lucky dip. They may be water resistant, but do you really want to look like you’re just about to trek through the jungles of Borneo?

Designer or high street?

Well if you’re loaded and have between £250 – £500 to spend, opt for a Mulberry, Paul Smith, Bally, Prada or Gucci bag. In contrast, for £45 and £100 you can buy a vintage styled leather messenger bag or retro leather satchel online or on the high street.
So now it’s time to give in and get yourself a leather messenger bag, leather satchel or leather man bag.

Click here to see our range of leather bags.

If you’re still not convinced, below are some of the hundreds of reviews, views, tips and words of advice left by many of our happy customers. More can be seen listed under each of our leather bags.

A brief history of the man bag

Man bags have become more popular in the last few years mainly due to the fact we’re carrying more stuff around with us today and bulging pockets just don’t look right.
A leather satchel for men have a definite manly history. Many a British explorer would have kept their personal belongings in a manly leather satchel. Furthermore, African hunters have used a leather shoulder bag to keep their weapons and store their catch. More recently cycle couriers, messengers and thousands of postmen continue to use them today as well as fishermen. They’re just as utilitarian, but with a little more style to them.

Chewbaca with his shoulder bag
Chewbaca with his shoulder bag
Indiana-Jones and his messenger bag
Indiana-Jones and his messenger bag

 

Scaramanga
We have a range of over eighteen leather messenger bags, leather satchels, leather man bags, courier bags and leather travel bags available in up to four sizes at our website.
For more help and advice contact the Scaramanga team.
E-mail them at: team@scaramangadirect.co.uk or
Call them on 0845 2 591158

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