"Deep in the castle and back from the wars
Back with my baby and the fire burned tall
"Hoorah", went the men down below
All outside was the rain and snow..."
So went the lyrics to 'Swords of a Thousand Men'. by Tenpole Tudor, who proclaimed to be a descendant of Henry VIII, in 1983.
About the same time comes another mock Tudor, in the breathtaking shape and workmanship of this 'mouton d'or' (golden fleece), sheepskin and leather coat by Sprung Freres, the masters of fur & leather workmanship cut as sharp as a sword but the softness of finest hides, in Paris from 1931, so plenty of history themselves too.
Though France the period from which this coat gets its design inspiration wasn't called the 'Tudor' period as that only describes the dynasty of English royalty. Nevertheless the fashions of the time were still all huge mutton sleeves & shoulders, and striped constructions, and was for men
and women, about enhancing their stature and power. So not surprising this influence found its way in to 1980s fashion and its 'power dressing'.
Dior, Yves St Laurent etc were all involved in the formidable Tudor shape, especially in coats & furs,with pages of Officiel, Jour de France & Vogue full of exciting examples often with inbuilt waisted basque or big belts clinching these 'Tudor' coats in at the waist from c 1979 to 1985.
La mode est un voleur d'histoire... de temps en temps....and no better example than this as the fashion designers of the 1980s sought historical influences
for romance & power of the time.
So it was Sprung Freres that came out with the real iconic unashamedly Tudor style with this example with bold stripes of leather and sheepskin fur construction. I was an airline hostess at the time and can recall it being worn by stylish French passengers so it's exciting for me to finally
have a piece through my hands. I must confess I took the first opportunity myself to wear it as I had seen it being worn at the time by a French model on one of my flights, with a soft leather obi belt clinching it at the waist as shown. I asked where she'd got it at the time and she told me it was a Sprung Freres the pride of Paris. By the time I'd saved up for one I couldn't get hold of it!
I'm very tempted to keep it as its such a dramatic piece worn this way or normally. Was very difficult to me to shoot the shine on it, but hopefully will give you some idea. The design was soon copied by others, but this is a real Sprung Freres.
It is the perfect coat for Autumn and winter exploration of historical sites on city breaks: you will be glad of the warmth, and the style for swaggering in to nice restaurants and bars after your day's explorations of castles bridges and museums, and its definitely a coat you don't mind being outside in the snow al fresco or to smoke! SO warm! And while heavy, it doesn't feel so on as the weight hangs from the amazing structure.
And while I did some smoking shots to nail that Parisienne attitude of the time, fear not I have freshened it to remove any smoke odours.
So I can't tell you what a formidable piece it is and the compliments you will get!
'Never seen anything like that so beautiful you look fabulous' was one comment to me from a young man in the street the other day, and several from women asking me where I got it. And this one did in fact come from Paris, so will have visited all those sights in Paris over the years for sure from the
Palace of Chantilly, to the horse races, to the bridges of the Seine, to the Musee d'Orsay. Now it's had some sightseeing in old London town too!
Chantilly in fact the Palace was built for Anne Duc de Montmorency, French soldier diplomat & statesman who served five monarchs before being killed at the Battle of Saint Denis 12 November 1567, so this was their 'tudor' period and was pleased to find images of him in the typical 'Tudor'
style which the coat by Sprung Freres taps in to for influence. Sprung Freres has their own long history and enjoying a rebranding especially with fabulous shearlings; the price of their vintage furs especially sheepskins going through the roof since Lady GagGa wore and revitalized the name.
And this one, was their piece de resistance in sheepskin & leather; their iconic piece.
I am going to offer it with the soft real leather obi belt as this will not mark the fur as some stronger leather wide belts did at the time, so this will enable you to recreate the sensational drama while keeping it it good shape.
It is one size so will fit from my size (a UK 6-8) right up to a size 16 comfortably as it has its own structure that will fit any shape!
So that is US size 4 to 14, or EU 36 to 46
So whether you are off to the Tower of London or the Palace of Chantilly, it's fab to pay a nod to those dashing, debonair, & raucous Tudors; but this is a coat of stature for any city inter break especially for a place where you want all the romance this coat will bestow upon you; the romance & glamour a Sprung Freres coat was famed for as per their advertising of the 1980s.; take a Google. Ideal for letting your soldier get deep in the castle of your warmth
as all outside is snow, or belting for an armour of power!
It is in excellent overall condition though there is some visible minor wear to the underside of the cuffs, reflected in the price otherwise I'd have no hesitation
in pricing this at £1500. You'd pay that now for a new full length shearling nowhere near as fabulous.