James Smith founded his umbrella firm in 1830 and the shop has been selling umbrellas in London ever since. The shop also sells ceremonial sticks and walking sticks.
With a facade that has hardly changed since the 1860s, entering this quaint old shop is like stepping back in time. Smith and Sons' staff still manufacture umbrellas using the same techniques as their predecessors in the 19th century, and still sell their canes, maces and brollies to gentry, military and royalty.
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Fantastic. Overpriced, of course, but so fun.
Hubby bought a little foldable, probably the cheapest one in the shop. I was in love with a plaid hook handled one... The handle looked like what a hobbit would have on his umbrella. Adorable. £175, otherwise I may have been tempted.
Unfortunately, my husband's umbrella started having intermittent technical difficulties a few days later....more
If you need an umbrella, go here! Really it's that simple. You would be hard-pressed to find a larger selection of umbrellas and walking canes anywhere in London (and perhaps anywhere in the UK or quite frankly anywhere in the world). The James Smith & Sons shop is a gem of a store, cramming in nearly 200 years of umbrella making into one small shop near Oxford Street.
The sales staff are...more
James Smith & Sons is THE umbrella, stick and whip manufacturers in London. Coming here is a step back in time to an era when dandies and flaneurs roamed the streets. It's been going for over 175 years and the Victorian interior looks like it may well be the original. The vast array of beautiful hand made pieces available here are for people who like to enjoy the finer things and life are...more
At a time when the high streets are turning into chain-dominated clones of one another, coming across this shop is such a refreshing experience that it made me want to shout for joy.
I wasn't looking for an umbrella but happened to spot it while walking to Tottenham Court Road. The words 'Established 1830' were enough to draw me in and wow! You can't help but gawp at the array and...more
I'm not a great fan of umbrellas- they always seems to get in the way when yoare trying to rush ahead on a narrow pavement. Or the wind seems to turn them inside out making them useless as a rain protector. Or you get stabbed in the eye/ arm/ shoulder by someone juggling theor umbrella nad talking on their mobile (yes, that has happened to me!) Despite my dislike of umbrellas- the British...more