The art of English leathercraft is centuries old and coveted the world over. At its finest it is a perfect marriage of form and function; combining elegance and finish with comfort and durability. In saddlery, harnesses and, of course, in luggage, Tanner Krolle has been part of this tradition since the middle of the nineteenth century and has always been closely associated with beautiful English bridle leather. Frederick Krolle founded his workshop near London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral in 1856. A second generation master-saddler, Krolle foresaw that the advent of the railway and steam shipping would create demand for handcrafted luggage for the new breed of elegant traveller. His workshop began with the famous ‘portmanteau’, a solid hand-stitched dresser case fashioned in heavy bridle leather.
It became an icon of wealth and respectability and a fitting companion on the Grand Tour. As their wealth increased affluent Victorians began to have their luggage made to order: Gladstone bags, top-hat cases, bonnet boxes, gun cases, carriage or "monitor” bags all became popular bespoke items.