Fine arts: Westley Richards

The dedication and craft that are on display on Westley Richards’ engraved firearms also shine through in its handmade leather goods

Style 1 Jun 2022

A Westley Richards engraver applies a masterful touch to metalwork

A Westley Richards engraver applies a masterful touch to metalwork

Since its founding in 1812, Birmingham bespoke gunmaker Westley Richards has had an unparalleled dedication to craftsmanship and artistry. An integral part of this craft is the company’s association with the finest engravers, who decorate firearms that may never even be used, and are instead put on display as the beautiful works of art they are.

This dedication to the finest hand-crafted work is carried across into Westley Richards’ fine leather goods. What began as a range of shooting accessories such as cartridge bags has evolved into a full offering of leather and canvas pieces. Every item – from small leather goods such as card holders and wallets to large travel bags – is made to order by a single leatherworker, who is responsible for every step of the process. From patterning and cutting the leather pieces to assembling the bag and sewing the final stitches, a Westley Richards bag will be a truly handcrafted work – from the same pair of hands.

And because they are made to order, buyers know that their piece is truly special. Making to order also avoids problems of overproduction that are so common in many corners of the fashion industry. Whether bought as a gift for a loved one or for yourself, Westley Richards leather goods and accessories will be treasured items that can last for generations. And whether it’s being taken on safari, a weekend city break or a business trip, Westley Richards luggage will both stand out for its style and stand up to the rigours of travel.

Westley Richards Bournbrook 48hr bag £2,095
Westley Richards Bournbrook 48hr bag £2,095

If a customer wishes to take the next step beyond handmade goods, the company also offers bespoke pieces and welcomes conversations with customers to create the ideal life-long accompaniment to their travels.

‘As we make our leather goods side by side with the gunmaking in our Birmingham factory, that philosophy of personalisation drifts across to the leather department. We are often asked to produce custom versions of our sporting slips and cartridge bags, as well as for our much-loved travel bags,’ says creative director Stephen Humphries.

‘Above and beyond having initials or family crests hot foiled onto the leather goods, customers can choose to have them made in a range of exotic skins such as buffalo, ostrich and alligator.’

It’s in these leather goods that the history of fine engraving is embraced. Many pieces feature the custom house lining designed by master engraver Paul Lantuch, who has been working with Westley Richards since 2011. This exquisitely detailed lining evokes the spirit of luxury and fine craftsmanship that defines the brand. Every time you open your bag or delve into your wallet, the lining serves as a reminder of the 200-year heritage of Westley Richards and the fine craftsmanship and attention that go into every piece. As Humphries explains, ‘The lining is also an important testament to our company DNA – we wish to continuously celebrate our natural home of elite craftsmanship and artistry.’