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The Golden Age of Picnic sets



Leathercloth cased Sets

Asprey 6 Person Fold fronted Leathercloth set C.1905
Picture of Asprey Picnic Set

With the inevitable passing of time, and the cost of leather cased sets getting more prohibitive, the makers turned their attentions to the manufacture of leathercloth cased sets. The trend started after WW1, then gathered momentum in the thirties. Leathercloth was far cheaper, and more flexible to use. Initially it was used to cover the outside of the cases, but because of its thinner structure, most sets also had to have leather strips and brass edges. From the late Twenties, due to the improvement in quality of material and price restraints, sets were then being covered totally in leathercloth. Like their wicker and leather counterparts, these sets fitted into two definite type patterns. Fold fronted, and suitcased.

Again the usual fittings were incorporated, but much more use was being made of white backgrounds, and wicker covered wire containers for the internal fittings. Coracle soon established themselves as the major supplier, with Barrett, Finnigans, Drew and Vickery vanishing from the marketplace. Coracle were continuing to supply Asprey with parts, and by the mid Thirties, supplied just about everything, including the leathercloth covered cases. All that remained from Asprey was the Asprey name, and the odd fitment or two that Asprey were still producing, like sets of nickel plated stacking tumblers.


Click any image below or its associated word link for examples of that type of set.

Click for Leathercloth Fold Fronted Picnic Sets   Click for Leathercloth Suitcased Picnic Sets
Leathercloth Fold Fronted   Leathercloth suitcase


Most leathercloth sets were supplied in black, but as Bentley cars became something of a rage in the late twenties and thirties, many sets were produced in British Racing Green. Approaching the Fifties, the interior fittings turned away from being metal. Bakolite was the order of the day. Picnic sets continued to be made in leathercloth, and by the Sixties, colours of the cases became more garish and most of the fittings turned into plastic.



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