As the saying goes, the rain falls on the just and the unjust fella, so it behooveth both to own umbrellas. Here in Auckland, that rain comes most days of the week. I once owned a vintage umbrella that I was particularly proud of; it was black and sturdy with a gnarled wooden handle. Then one rainy day, I carried it into the office of the magazine I was working at, and my boss took one look at it and said, “You know that wooden handle is plastic, right?” She was right. I lost it soon after. Murray Crane of Crane Brothers has just begun stocking Fox Umbrellas, widely regarded as one of the best umbrella manufacturers in the world. The company opened its doors in 1868, with a range of whalebone and silk umbrellas that were most likely heavy and not especially water resistant. In the 1880s the whalebone was replaced by stainless steel, and in 1947 nylon replaced silk. Thus the modern umbrella was born. Such quality and workmanship doesn’t come cheap – Crane Brothers’ selection ranges in price from $159 to $595, but you can sleep easy knowing that Princes and Presidents have carried these brollies, and that the wooden handles aren’t made from plastic.
Fox Ash Umbrella.