Holland & Holland- In Pursuit Of Excellence
A Heritage of Craftsmanship
Holland & Holland guns are celebrated throughout the world as the perfect combination of artistry and craftsmanship. To understand why, you need simply pick one up, balance it in your hands, and allow your eyes to take in every detail of its lines. It displays a purity of design and a functional simplicity that is found more frequently in nature than in the creations of man. Swing and mount the gun to your shoulder and, immediately, your visual sensation is matched by such perfect handling that you know the gun is ideally suited to its purpose. Such an achievement does not come into being by evolution alone, even though Holland & Holland guns and rifles trace their lineage back to the year 1835. Its other parent is curiosity, the desire of the craftsman and gunmaker to see whether an improvement can be made on accepted methods.
The Holland & Holland factory, located in London not far from Paddington Station, is a true example of a place where the Best London guns are built in the traditional way.
Now, over a hundred years later, the building is still ideally suited to its task, although new paint adorns the outside and new equipment adorns the inside. It is a tall, slender building with large windows for maximum light. On one side the actioners take advantage of the early morning light while on the other side the engravers prefer to use the afternoon light for their craft.
As the well known gun author Michael McIntosh has written, “If Michael- Angelo had a jackhammer, he would have used it to great advantage, and his finished sculptures would still be and look the same beautiful works of art”. This is equally true for traditional gun manufacturing today.
While machines were always used where practical, for example, for riffling the barrels, today we use the most modern CNC equipment and CAD design features. This cutting-edge technology is combined with the traditional gunmaking techniques such as the “oil black” method, making hand-struck barrels, and creating hand-shaped stocks and checkering. Depending on the model, between 650 and 1250 hours of work will be spent creating, refining, and finishing the gun. No part of a Holland & Holland gun is interchangeable. Down to the smallest pin, every part of our bespoke guns are specially made. Combine these abilities with the quality of steel available today, and it will be no surprise that our dedicated and enthusiastic craftsmen are building the best guns ever.
Holland & Holland, a traditional British brand with a truly exceptional heritage, has been given a timely re-invention by the creative duo of Stella Tennant and Isabella Cawdor. The two women, long standing friends with a genuine understanding of life in the country, bring their experience in fashion and their instinctive style to the company that was founded in 1835.
The mission for Tennant and Cawdor is to create a new collection of lifestyle wear for men and women that is both fit for purpose and appealing to the touch and the eye. “Everything should have a function. Holland & Holland aspires to both use and beauty” says Tennant. This collection reinterprets existing brand values in a thoroughly modern context, taking the best elements from the past and combining these with updated fabrics and techniques.
The traditional style of Holland & Holland provided a wealth of inspiration. The menswear root of the brand is reflected in the streamlined masculine inspired silhouettes, intensive attention to detail and the emphasis on tweed. Tennant and Cawdor worked with the mills in Hawick, on the banks of the River Teviot, to understand the true substance of this most resilient of fabrics right through from yarn selection to weaving.
Fabrics such as wool, cashmere and silk are used throughout. The line up of pieces includes single-breasted jackets, multi-pocket vests for both men and for women as well as high-waisted trousers, plus fours, plus eights and culottes. The collection is designed to work as well within an urban setting as out on the moors, remaining stylish despite its technical excellence.
The Autumn/Winter 2017 and Spring/Summer 2018 collections span outwards to cover knitwear, shirting, footwear and accessories. Key pieces include woven check overshirts, cashmere knits and, sturdy leather walking shoes with fold back tongues to prevent laces being caught in the heather. Other items include pleated skirts, silk shirts, and fur vests.