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British Industrial History

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Anglo-French Bag Co

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of Tennyson House, 159-165 Great Portland Street, London, W1. Telephone: Langham 1333-4. Cables: "Silkisaci, Wesdo, London. (1929). Ditto Address and Cables. Telephone: Welbeck 2934-5. (1947)

Founded by Aizyk Hanftwurcel, known as Alexis Izak Hantwurcel (and later as Alexis Hant), and his wife Antoinette (nee Leibovici).

Aizyk Haftwurcel was born on 6 December 1888 in Warsaw, Poland, to Russian parents (Chmoul Hanftwurcel and Chaidla Laia (Leila) Reindorf). Antoinette Leibovici was born in 1892 in Bucharest, Romania. Her parents were called Isaac Leibovici and Pepi Kinslinger. Her maternal grandmother was called Janette Sheindl Kinslinger, who died in 1917 in Jerusalem.

At some point they both lived in France so it may be that the Anglo-French Bag Company originally began in France.

Business in England was certainly underway by 1920: "Young girls (smart) wanted to learn fancy silk handbag trade; must not live too far away. - Call from 10 to 11. Anglo-French Co., 14, Bird-Street, Oxford-Street, W.1.".[1]

1921 Raymonde Ninette Hantwurcel was born. Living at 1 Linden Gardens, in London.

1924 The firm had a factory at Tottenham Court Road. See images of bags being made here:- The London Picture Archive

1926 Lucie Yvonne Hantwurcel was born. Living at 19, St Gabriel’s Road, Cricklewood.

1929 British Industries Fair Advert as Manufacturers of High-Grade Handbags in all Fine Leathers, Silks, Brocades, etc. Also Wallets, Letter Cases, Note Cases, Purses, etc. Specialising in Antelope and Reptile Skin Bags. Suitable for all markets. (Leather Goods Section - Stand No. P.50) [2]

1929 Feb/March - Address was Tennyson House, 159-165 Great Portland Street, London W1.

1929 November - Company was listed in the London Gazette as “Aliens to whom Exemptions under Section 7 of the Aliens Restriction (Amendment) Act 1919 have been granted”. They were granted permission to change the name of the company - "ANGLO-FRENCH BAG COMPANY; Alexis Izak Hantwurcel; Manufacturer of Ladies' Hand Bags; 159-165, Great Portland Street, London, W. 1."

1930 18th June - Alexis Hant was naturalised a British citizen. They still lived at 19, St Gabriel’s Road at this point.

1935 Exhibited at the 1935 Royal Academy British Art in Industry exhibition.[3]

1944 14th November “Aizyk Hanftwurcel, known as Alexis Izak Hantwurcel of 28 Bryanston Court, George Street, London W1, a naturalised British subject intends after the expiration of twenty-one days from the date of publication of this notice to assume the name of Alexis Hant in lieu of and in substitution for his present names of Aizyk Hanftwurcel known as Alexis Izak Hantwurcel.”[4]

1946 Still trading from 159-165 Great Portland Street, London W1.

1947 British Industries Fair Advert as Manufacturers of Elegant Handbags. High Class Handbags to suit all occasions. Made in Leather, Silk, etc., for Day and Evening Wear. (Leather Goods Section - Earls Court, 1st Floor, Stand No.445) [5]

1950 19 July - The company was wound up (voluntary liquidation), but started up again on 29 December 1950, and was still trading as at the time of a notice in the London Gazette on 14 March 1952. The address now given for the company is 138 New Bond Street.[6]

1953 Victoria - Granddaughter of Alexis and Antoinette was born.

9th July 1967 - Antoinette died at Brighton General Hospital, aged 75.

19th September 1970 - Alexis Hant died in at Hospital Pasteu in Nice, aged 82.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times Thurs October 7th 1920
  2. 1929 British Industries Fair Advert 70; and p8
  3. (p.23)
  4. London Gazette from 14 November 1944
  5. 1947 British Industries Fair Advert 57; and p13
  6. London Gazette from 14 March 1952
  • Information provided by descendant of the founders of the company.