British Heritage Meets Ancient Art

Team Ettinger writes: This past 30 May, Ettinger was pleased to participate again in the Walpole Press Day at Somerset House here in London. The Walpole Group is an organisation that promotes luxury British brands in the UK and throughout the world; we’ve been involved in these press days for about six years now, and each year they seem to get bigger and better.

This year was especially exciting for us because we announced a brand new collection unlike any we’ve ever produced: Saira Hunjan for Ettinger. This collection combines the ancient art of tattooing with traditional British style and craftsmanship, and we think the result is stunning.

Earlier this year, Saira Hunjan — one of the most prominent tattoo artists working today — approached us with the intriguing idea of incorporating her unique designs into a selection of our finely crafted leather goods. After a few months of inspired design work (all with a pheasant or fox motif), intense collaboration, careful selection of the burnished calf leather and the painstaking final crafting, the collection was ready for presentation.

We were all very pleased by the extremely positive reception among the press and other presenters at Press Day, including Robert (shown here with Saira), who said, “I felt very good about these pieces, but I am pleasantly surprised by the overwhelmingly positive response. This collection shows Ettinger can have interesting collaborations with unexpected people.”

Introducing the Saira Hunjan for Ettinger collection was certainly one of the highlights of Walpole Press Day this year, and we hope that you’ll share our excitement about the collection, which will be available in early September. In the meantime, we’ll keep you up to date with more news and closer looks at all the pieces. In the meantime, please let us know what you think: what are your favourite designs and colours?

You can read Saira’s announcement about the collection on her blog here: Saira Hunjan blog.

You can read about the history of tattooing, including its prevalence among English aristocracy, here: Wikipedia history of tattooing.

You can learn more about The Walpole Group at their website: The Walpole Group.

60 Years in the Making: A Special Whisky for a Special Cause

Robert Ettinger writes: One of the great pleasures of being in this business is the opportunity to meet so many fascinating people all  over  the world. Sometimes, these people visit us here in our showroom on Putney Bridge Road. One of these occasions occurred in early May, when Jonathan Driver of John Walker & Sons stopped by with a special treat.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen’s accession to the throne, John Walker & Sons created Diamond Jubilee, a blend of rare Scotch whiskies distilled in 1952. John Walker, which was first awarded a Royal Warrant in 1934, enlisted the expertise and skills of more than 60 artisans, including several other Royal Warrant holders, to provide specially made pieces to present and accompany the whisky. I am pleased and honoured that Ettinger was chosen to design and create the leather sleeve to contain the components of a commemorative artefact book. The book, along with the other bespoke elements — a pair of crystal glasses, the crystal and silver base and collar, and the crystal decanter containing the whisky itself — are all housed within a chest made of oak from Sandringham and Caledonian pine from The Queen’s Balmoral Estate.

Sixty editions of the whisky have been made for sale around the world, and the profits are to be donated to the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST). All of us here at Ettinger are proud to be associated with this project and couldn’t be more pleased that it benefits such a worthy cause.

Jim Beveridge, master blender at John Walker & Sons, has described the taste as very vibrant, with a fresh fruity flavour and a smoky finish. Although I haven’t had a chance to sample the Diamond Jubilee whisky myself, I’d like to think that it has a taste of golden honey with a subtle undertone of flowering heather, all of it infused with a hint of peat. I can easily imagine hoisting a dram, toasting the Queen with my family and a few close friends after finishing a sherry trifle at the end of a long and lazy al fresco dinner.

I’d love to hear how you’d like to enjoy tasting this once-in-a-lifetime whisky; please add a comment below and let me know your thoughts.

You can read more about Diamond Jubilee by John Walker & Sons here: Diamond Jubilee Whisky.

You can find more information about the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust here: QEST

Greetings from Ettinger

Welcome to our blog. We hope you’ll find it interesting, informative, and entertaining, as we share our thoughts and ideas on life, travel, culture, society — anything and everything that sparks our imagination. On occasion, we’ll even mention news about a particular leather goods manufacturer.

You’ll be seeing blog posts from Robert Ettinger, as well as posts from members of Team Ettinger, and we hope you’ll offer your comments, too. We see Thoughts on Life and Leather as an opportunity to communicate with interested people all over the world, and your contributions will be as much a part of this blog as ours.

Like many brand-new things, this is very much a work-in-progress, and we will undoubtedly be tweaking and, hopefully, improving it on an ongoing basis. We hope you’ll help; we very much look forward to hearing from you.