top of page
Search

Too Blatant to Ignore

Updated: Feb 17

For years I operated on the theory that Paris Theodore's designer was not him, but a chap named Bob Angell. I know almost nothing about the latter man but that he was hired away from Chic Gaylord by Paris is a matter of record now: Paris' recently released auto- biography; posthumous of course.



It's possible that he was Robert J. Angell, b. 18 Mar 1924 in Albany NY, m. Catherine 1948 and d. there 27 Apr 2005. The chances I have the right man are really good, with him being a decade junior to Chic and his address being v. close to Chic's and Paris' shops in NYC.



Now it seems that Angell made them all, which makes the distinction between a Gaylord and a Seventrees a matter only of its markings, though the stitch pattern of the belt loop is distinct to each brand (and Angell was not an experienced machine operator). And many that are made with Chic's sensibilities aren't marked at all!


The point being, that Angell not only designed all of Chic's and Paris' gunleather, but appears to have made them all, too. When Bob shifted to Seventrees in '66 Gaylord's operation literally vanished. An unmarked Gaylord below but the construction details including that rivet head and the 'signature' belt loop sewing say it came from Chic's shop.



Gaylord above, Seventrees below. Both for the Walther .32.



Chic, it was said in an interview with Rob Garrett, wouldn't hear either Angell's or Theodore's name spoken because they had stolen his designs. Now I think Chic wasn't referring to their copying his designs like all your favourite makes do/did: I think that Angell literally walked away with all the patterns and Chic, unable to recreate them, found himself out of business (I'll note that when I left Bianchi I didn't take any patterns or drawings, and as the innovator there I focused on creating all-new designs and the patterns for them while DBA Nichols Innovation. I had wondered why Chic disappeared so abruptly!


Above, it was Rob who accumulated then copied to me a huge library of Seventrees/ Theodore images, including the above autograph from Chic to him proximate the latter's death that year. I had enquired about such for Gaylord but got Paris instead.


Below, a Seventrees with Bob Angell's initials stamped into it (the 'A' is somewhat concealed) in two places using steel letter stamps:


And a new Seventrees holster to collectors that's at auction right now, is a near-clone of Chic's well-known quick draw holster that is on the cover of Chic's book and in his quick draw chapter, too. That shank inside the leather is hella thick! So likely an aluminium bar whereas all other makers used shaped blanks stamped from thin(ner) sheet metal. It too has those same steel lettered imprints but I've no idea who G.F. was/is.



His book above, the latest Seventrees discovery below.



It's a uniformed LEO's holster set for which Paris was not known. Paris had drawn up written plans to compete as a major maker against Bianchi and Safariland (specifically mentioned) according to his 1974 business plan of which I have a complete copy. Didn't happen: he was put out of business by the Church Committee in 1975 which is when Lou Alessi swooped in with his copies. This is but one page of his plan that appears to have been drawn up to raise money for it:



And now that we know that his holster biz was only (he said) a front for his lethal weapons business for the CIA, I have to wonder why he even bothered to try to raise money for a real gunleather company, when it was the gadgets like the ASP pistol that fascinated him. That and murdering people. I mean, personally, according to his autobiography.


Oh, P.S. for the so-called 'maker' who claims he was first to ever produce exotic-skinned gunleather (you know who you are, Jerry), below are Seventrees' far earlier offerings of same, in '68 and '69 while Jerry was still in short pants:



Enlargement of the exotic leather Sentrees products, below:



And sharkskin in a Gaylord, early 1960s. Chic complained in print it was a difficult leather to work with as being hard to fold when laminated to more substantial veg leathers (he used both cowhide and horsehide as did Paris). Two different holsters:




Read more in my book titled "Holstory -- Gunleather of the Twentieth Century -- the Second Edition" that is available at www.holstory.com and printed for you/shipped to you in USA.

150 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page