H.J. CAVE

For our existing bespoke orders, we are still on track to deliver on time.


An Abridged list

  • Founded by the eponymous Harriet Jane Cave in 1839. It has been women run for the majority of its existence. This is incredible as women founded organizations were incredibly rare, if any.

  • Royal Warrant to Queen Alexandra & Princess Victoria 

  • Won Gold in Paris World Exhibition 1867 hon mention 1862 and 1874

  • Won Gold in 1878 Paris World Exhibition for solid leather trunks and articles de voyage, at that time the silver and bronze medals were also won by HJ Cave

  • Only medal at Northampton exhibition of leather works. A high honor. 

  • Inventor of Quinqueparite Expanding basket for the Queen

  • First Flat Topped Luggage

  • Inventor of the Railway Basket

  • First creator of designer leather handbags for women mid 1800s

  • First to market upscale luxury leather products to women

  • First Recoded use of Expanding Luggage

  • First recorded marketing of luxury leather handbags 1860s

  • Clothed the elite of Britain and the world, including leaders and iconic figures.

    EST. 1839

CONTACT US

For bespoke inquiries, please contact:

+44 7404927279

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Man's hands behind sewing. Leather workshop.
Girl with brown wallet

ABOUT OUR COMPANY

Our History

The Original Company was established in 1839 as a sole trader, the company is famous for making the Osilite trunk, a strong and light trunk used on the 1933 Everest Expedition and several other adventures. The case won several major prizes in the 19th Century including first prize in Paris in 1867, beating rivals Asprey. The trunk was popular as an early flight case. It is also thought that Cave was tbr earliest pioneers of the modern purse or handbag. It is known that an industrialist, purchased a handbag in the mid to late 1800s, made of the same leather as the luggage for his wife to use on the train. This is the first record of a designer handbag or purse as in modern use.

It is known that Cave inspired both Louis Vuitton (1857) and a young Guccio Gucci (circa 1910).

Gucci, as an immigrant in London, was impressed with the luxurious luggage he saw hotel guests brought with them and Louis Vuitton had observed that the HJ Cave Osilite trunk could be easily stacked.


The original H.J. Cave tote was large enough to hold a baby, thus conferring one of theatre's all-time classic lines on Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest.

The company held a British Royal Warrant of appointment until the 1940s and counted among its customers Ruth VincentT. E. Lawrence and Sir Winston Churchill