top of page
Search

Too Blatant to Ignore

Updated: May 25

For years I operated on the theory that Paris Theodore's designer was not him, but instead a another New Yorker named Bob Angell. I know almost nothing about the latter man, but the knowledge that he was hired away from Chic Gaylord by Paris in '66 is now a matter of record: Paris' recently released auto- biography; posthumous of course because he died long ago.


Above, said to be Seventrees' shop. Notice the horsehide 'strips' they're called, in background. Is Angell one of the older men? Then perhaps the chap with the leather.


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. On the other hand Angell's middle initial/name is unknown so I can't be certain.



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 many that are made with Chic's sensibilities aren't marked at all! Like the one below:


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. Below has Chic's signature construction but no marking; his stamp was too broad and flat to reliably impress the very hard horsehide.



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



Chic, it was said in an interview he gave to Rob Garrett just before Chic's death, wouldn't hear either Angell's or Theodore's name spoken because they had stolen his designs. Puzzled at first, now I realize Chic wasn't referring to their copying his designs like all your favourite makes do/did anyway. I think instead 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).


Above, it was Rob Garrett who accumulated then copied to me a huge library of Seventrees/ Theodore images, including the above autograph to him from Chic.


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


And a Seventrees holster that is new to collectors is at auction right now. It 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 a flat aluminium bar whereas all other makers used thin, shaped blanks stamped from 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.

Below, look carefully to see Seventrees' logo stamped into it:


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.


And now that we know that his holster biz was only (he said in his autobiography) a front for his lethal weapons business supplying the CIA's murder squads, I have to wonder why he even bothered trying to raise money for a real gunleather company.


Oh, P.S. for the so-called 'maker' who claims he was first to ever produce exotic-skinned gunleather (and you know who you are, Ardolino), 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, 1968, 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 from 1960 or so:




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.

222 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page