19 Oct 2015

My antique wooden seat stick

I never seem to complete my long list of indispensable Gentleman's accessories; and in regards to walking sticks and canes I have only just started..
(The silver knob handled walking cane and My ash knob walking stick)

Recently I acquired a lovely antique wooden seat stick; I do not know the history behind this well-crafted item, but I have seen seat sticks similar to this from late 19th Century London (sword maker R.S. Garden, Picadilly). The hinges work like a marvel and details in the making are well cared for; except for a few woodworm holes the stick is in fine condition and quite functional.

The seat stick is a perfect companion for longer walks that includes bird-watching, but also for spectator sports like field-hunting.

Preparing a seat
Antique wooden seat stick

Wearing my vintage 1970 bespoke tweed shooting suit; a vintage houndstooth tweed waistcoat; peccary gloves; loden green shooting socks and tan brogues.  Binoculars and shooting stick.

The seat is quite comfortable


German newspaper sellers on seat sticks, 1927

1920s postcard

12 Oct 2015

Moustache wax from The Quintessential Beard

I do appreciate enterprises based on craftmanship, the best of raw materials, and passion; such an enterprise is The Quintessential Beard. A foray started a couple of years ago in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England by Kerry Barrows and his wife and mother.
An endeavour to supply high quality products that will make the bearded or moustachioed Gentleman look well groomed; a truly admirable venture.

I have tried out their Moustache Wax; a light wax based on locally sourced organic beeswax; lanolin; golden jojoba oil and unrefined shea butter. The scent is subtle but unmistakeably filled with notes of honey, flowers and pollen - a welcomed change from my scentless old moustache wax.

My Quintessential Beard Moustache Wax displayed on a huge lump of beeswax.

At first I completely neglected the idea behind this wax; to be an alternative to the hard moustache waxes that don't necessarily nourish your moustache and might even cause loss of the appriciated facial hair.
I was afraid if the new softer wax would be able to withstand the autumnly weather conditions - especially because my moustache is very narrow with inch-long straight points and even little hair-disturbance would be a disaster.
And being slightly un-appreciative of the instructions from Kerry I attacked the wax with a hairdryer - like my regular wax; and learned that the ingredients in The Quintessential Beard moustache wax definitely does not agree with heating.

But after a while I learned to trust the soft luxury of the wax; simply scrape out an amount of the wax with the back of your finger nail and form between fore finger and thumb before working the wax into the moustache while twirling the points.
Advantages over the usual hard wax are a quicker, softer application; the subtle natural scents; and the softer, groomed look of the moustache - the hard wax can easily look more like a massive coating.

I have not yet tried out the wax in extreme weather conditions with lots of rain and wind, but expect only a little less sturdyness of the moustache than with the old hard wax.
If a re-application should be needed during the day - e.g. if stopping for a drink at a local public house during a long walk - this moustache wax comes in handy!
For everyday use at the office, in town and countryside this moustache wax is brilliant.

In the words of Hercules Poirot: "I did not achieve true facial symmetry until I grew the moustache..."
Moustache after 10 hours at the Office; waxed with The Quintessential Beard Moustache Wax.
Bow tie from Drake's London

Forget about the hairdryer - simply scrape out an amount of wax with the back of your finger nail

I had not heard of Kerry's enterprise before he approached me with a free sample, but I really appreciate his ideas and passion and would really love to be a returning customer - I hope that Kerry and his family will broaden their range to include e.g. locally sourced knitwear or tools with the same passion and focus on quality differentiating them from competitors.

The moustache wax is available here: the-quintessential-beard.myshopify.com : 30ml (1 oz) for £8.00