The Rake


Ettinger Heritage Burlington briefcase

They’re gloriously impractical, have a questionable cumbersomeness-to-storage ratio, and were manifestly designed for a time when all human interaction took place via mailbags or insulated copper conductors — but consider them obsolete at your peril. Like many things supposedly enjoying a ‘resurgence’, the old-school gentleman’s briefcase is just too cool, too elegant and too iconic ever to find itself in the zeitgeist’s slipstream.

The briefcase’s oldest known descendant is the ‘loculus’, the goat- or calf-hide carriers clutched by Roman legionaries; more recent ancestors are the satchels held by Shakespeare’s “whining schoolboy” in the As You Like It soliloquy and the haversacks used by soldiers in the Napoleonic and American Civil wars.

But it was leaps forward in textiles and metallurgy, precipitated by the industrial revolution, that made briefcases the sturdy, silhouette-bolstering artefacts they are today, an era in which they have greater cachet than ever. Mark Carney may have eschewed convention by turning up for his first day as the governor of the Bank of England carrying a soft-sided, grey affair, but let’s face it, if the receptacle containing Marsellus Wallace’s soul in Pulp Fiction had been a man-bag, there’s serious doubt as to whether Quentin Tarantino would be the cult figure he is today.

The Heritage Burlington briefcase before you is the perfect choice for the urbane gent who seeks the antithesis to the regrettable scenario whereby grown-up professional men opt for bags more suited to

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