THOMAS BRIGG & SONS23, St. James's Street, London SW
T. Brigg & Sons - London - 1893
Thomas Brigg & Sons are believed to have been established in 1836.
This is the mark of the umbrella, walking stick, and whip manufacturer, Thomas Brigg & Sons of St James's Street, London:
A brigg in full sail between the letters 'B' and 'S'.
The mark is most often to be found struck in conjunction with the mark of the silversmith Charles Cooke who was the chief mounter of gold and silver ornaments to Thomas Brigg & Sons.
Charles Cooke, who until 1888, was in business with his brother, John Robert Cooke, is noted as being located at 17, Frith Street in 1888, 56, Frith Street and 17, Bateman Street, Soho, in 1889, and moved again later that year to 49, Rupert Street, Soho. In 1900 he was listed as being at 1a, Dyott Street, WC, and removed yet again c.1907 to 4, Rigmount Street, Bedford Square.
In 1893, Thomas Brigg and Sons received its first Royal Appointment from Her Majesty Queen Victoria and became the first umbrella maker ever to be honoured with an appointment. Further Royal Appointments were also bestowed by His Majesty King Edward VII.
Up until WWII, Thomas Brigg & Sons maintained a branch establishment in Paris.
Thomas Brigg & Sons merged in 1943 with Swaine & Adeney, and were afterwards styled 'Swaine, Adeney, Brigg & Sons'. They are still in business today and hold the Royal Warrant as "Suppliers of Umbrellas" to HRH The Prince of Wales.It is curious that an umbrella can be at once such an every-day, humdrum affair, and, under the auspices of Messrs. Brigg, the leading umbrella and stick exponents in the Universe, a thing, not only of beauty, but a joy so rich and rare as to last for all time. Specialising exclusively in sticks, umbrellas, and whips, Messrs. Brigg have made their name famous the world over, but, to appreciate adequately the extraordinary possibilities that prevail in this apparently restricted area, one must pay a personal visit to St. James's Street, or, if perchance your domicile be Paris, to 33, Avenue de l'Opera, where a story such as one scarcely dreams of, in the highest flights of fancy is unfolded.
As design after design of umbrella handles of richest workmanship, frequently enhanced by jewels, is opened up for inspection, one seems to touch the ne plus ultra in this regard. A fancy of exquisite genre is a delicately shaped mount of dark green jade, on which is worked in relief a tiny leaf design in green gold on a groundwork of red gold, picked out with ruby and diamonds. This, disposed in a case with the customary gold spokes, has the luxurious gift-note writ large all over it. Another unique example is a trumpet shape in dull 18-carat gold, the top inset with one huge pearl blister, outlined by a crescent disposal of olivines. Less extravagantly rich, but exceedingly chaste and beautiful, is the photographed handle, formed of a long stem of tortoise-shell enriched with frosted gold, outlined by minute bands of white enamel, a diamond scroll design with ruby points effecting an artistic finish. The practical feature of this is, that it is made to unscrew, so that the remaining portion of a full-sized umbrella or parasol can be easily packed away in an ordinary trunk. This procedure of screwing, however, is an old story with Brigg, who has, within comparatively recent days, improved on the process, sunshade handles being now made adjustable to the very tip of the spokes.
Living, as is their way, with both ears to the ground, this firm have been the first to catch the revived fancy for carrying evening canes. It is a quaint, picturesque conceit enough, and the lords of the creation may be heartily congratulated on their discrimination in again falling under its influence. Malacca is chiefly responsible for these evening canes, and Messrs. Brigg are bringing all the battery of their fine artistic taste to bear on a decoration that is at once tasteful and unaggressive. A feature, that may also be introduced, if desired, to intensify the old-world appearance, is the silk cord and tassels, the former threaded through gold eyelet-holes. But the best idea, perhaps,will be gained by a glance at the adjoined illustration of an almost white Malacca cane with top of delicate chased gold. As a Yuletide gift for difficult man, let me commend these evening canes with all emphasis, and thereby uphold the protest, elurchez la femme, where a small extravagance is concerned.
For the remaining item of the pictured trio, there is offered the season's fad in hunting-crops, a short, thick concern, entirely covered in pigskin, completed by the usual thong. There is a very rage for these, and Messrs. Brigg, with keen perceptions well on the alert, provided early for the onslaught that has most indubitably arrived. Though, when it comes to talking about the utilitarian virtues of pigskin as applied to slicks, crops, and umbrella handles, I am reminded that time and space are alike failing me, so away with temptations and to the fore with an earnest assurance that all in quest of the supreme in all that pertains to the above will find the highest expectations realised at 23, St. James's Street.
Source: The Bystander
- 1906To those in search of something quite out of the common as regards Christmas gifts, we would recommend a visit to Messrs. Brigg, the well-known umbrella and stick manufacturers of St. James's Street, where they have been established since 1836. Here may be found the most entrancing collection of stick and umbrella handles in tortoise-shell and amber, decorated with exquisitely delicate incrustations in different coloured golds and enamels, enhanced by tiny brilliants. Each handle is a lovely work of art, and a more fascinating Christmas gift could not be imagined. More practical, if less daintily ornamental, are the hunting crops for men and women, the former in whalebone covered with leather, the latter covered with the popular pigskin, which colours beautifully, like a meerschaum, the more it is used. Messrs. Brigg use the pigskin for the handles of umbrellas and en-tout-cas, and it is well to note that the prices of their famous umbrellas begin as low as a guinea. The firm justly pride themselves on the fact that everything use is made by their own workmen. Whether it is the delicate jewellery work of their tortoiseshell and amber handles, or the weaving of the special silk they use for their umbrellas and en-tout-cas, everything is made by the firm's highly trained workpeople. This insures the wonderful finish in every detail that characterises Messrs. Brigg's goods, and has made their reputation not only at their Paris house, but at Biarritz, Brussels, Madrid. Naples, Rome and Vienna, in all of which towns they have agents.
Source: Country Life
- Volume 22 - 1907
A 1921 advertisement for Brigg & Son's American agent, MM Importing Co., 6, East 45th Street, New York:
MM Importing Co. - New York - 1921Brigg and Son, 23, St. James's Street, S.W.
This establishment always appeals to me as an abiding place of opportunity and resource, though concentrated on the supply of sticks, umbrellas, and whips. Tortoiseshell is the craze of the hour, so observe the centre example of the three umbrella handles depicted. This, a ball of clouded tortoiseshell, is mounted on an 18-carat gold collar, and enriched by a diamond scroll, set with rubies.
A considerable share of fastidious choice continues to fall upon New Zealand jade as a decorative detail for umbrella handles. And apropos of green, perhaps the really great novelty this year is the green-dyed hog-skin umbrella handle, encircled with a jade ring with gilt setting and mounted with green silk. Few will question the exceeding fascination of this ensemble, both in umbrella and en tout cas form, the dyeing and polishing processes being executed with such consummate skill as to procure what may faithfully be described as an absolutely fresh effect. The word has, furthermore, gone forth that umbrellas and en tout cas are both to be still larger next year, all the fresh models at 23, St. James's Street tending in this direction, while many of the silks used for covering show a woven braid border.
Beautiful beyond compare is the enamel executed by Brigg, more and more attention being accorded this art every year, under the auspices of trained experts. Of the two oval-shaped tops included in the group, the one is of a delicate grass-green enamel, enclosed within a collar of white and Royal blue enamel, the former treated as to effect the appearance of small pearls, a scheme of contrast that is repeated at the top in the semblance of a ribbon' rosette. For the other a rich violet enamel is selected, the top ornamented with a delicate applique work in shaded golds, representing a design of the rose, shamrock, and thistle, a chaste gold collar finishing the neck.
An exceptionally interesting piece is the walking-stick illustrated, of light-coloured rhinoceros horn, with a large crook handle, merely relieved by a plain gold collar. There are probably not more than half a dozen of such specimens in existence. Admirable taste again is displayed in the walking-stick of Coromandel wood, surmounted by a top of clouded tortoiseshell, and encircled by a trellis collar of gold, through the interstices of which one gets glints of the shell.
At the same time, it may be apropos to bring forward the reminder that Messrs. Brigg, while revelling in the production of these exquisite extravagances, are yet amply supplied with fancies at reasonable rates, suitable for Christmas gifts, the above-mentioned green umbrella with dyed hog-skin handle to whit.
Source: The Bystander
Brigg and Son - London-1908