A FAMILY BUSINESS
Fourth generation Jonathan Connolly continues to develop the family legacy, manufacturing Connolly Leather of the exceptional and unique quality the Connolly brand has always been recognised for. With decades of experience, Jonathan and his brother Ben continue to supply exclusive, high quality leather to the motor industry, aviation, yachting and interior sectors. Their focus is very much on designing the leather for the individual client’s requirements, producing original and authentic hides for restoration work and to developing unique colours, textures and aromas for special commissions.
GENERATIONS OF FAMILY EXPERTISE BOUND BY A LOVE OF LEATHER
The Connolly Leather story began in 1878, when brothers John Joseph and Samuel Frederick Connolly opened one of the first while-you-wait shoe repair shops in London. They progressed to repairing harnesses and saddlery and began to buy and finish hides themselves, subsequently supplying leather to hood-makers and coachbuilders. When the latter started making the bodies for the new-fangled contraption, the motor car, the Connolly brothers were there from the outset. Samuel Frederick was a pioneer motorist and reputedly, the only man who could arrange for Herbert Austin and William Morris to dine at the same table.
Samuel Frederick’s son, Frederick Ignatius, grew up alongside, and became friend and confidant to many of the great names in the industry. Sir William Lyons of SS and Jaguar, the Wilks’ of Rover, the Rootes brothers and Sir Patrick Hennessy of Ford were some of his close acquaintances.
Connolly Leather adorned the first Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Ferrari, Maserati, Aston Martin, Jaguar and Morgan. Connolly remained the premium manufacturers’ choice of leather supplier until Connolly Brothers retired from the mass original equipment market in the early 1990s, choosing to focus on a more niche and discerning clientele.
Throughout the 20th Century Connolly Leather was chosen to adorn not only the world’s most spectacular automobiles, but also the most celebrated objects of transportation. Concorde, the Cunard liners Queen Elizabeth and Mary, the Coronation carriage of King Edward VII are but some examples.
Prestigious buildings featuring exclusive Connolly Leather include the Houses of Lords and Commons, The British Library, the Royal Festival Hall and the Dorchester and Ritz hotels. Celebrated designers Mies van der Rohe and Charles and Ray Eames notably chose Connolly leather for their most famous Barcelona and Lounge chairs.
And so the Connolly Leather story endures and evolves. Under the management and care of the family, Connolly Leather is committed to respecting and nurturing this heritage by offering only hides of the most exceptional character and quality.