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Vintage Beck Northeaster Horsehide jacket care and dating

Ligeia

New in Town
Messages
8
Location
Kansas
Hello! This is my first post, but I have lurked for a while...
I recently had the good fortune to win this beautiful jacket in an estate auction for what I believe was a steal. And it fits! I'm so happy, it is one of the coolest things I own, and I've been collecting vintage for over 25 years. All that being said, I would like some advice as to cleaning and possibly conditioning without damaging anything. It is in very good condition, all the zippers work and the lining is intact. The side laces look like they have been replaced and the collar has some spots of wear. Any advice about replacing the laces with a more period accurate material would be appreciated! Also, any additional information re: time period? Based on what I've learned in some very helpful posts in this forum, it appears to be a 333-D model, from the late 40s or early 50s? Again, any information about it's age would also be helpful. TIA!

Note: I apologize for the sideways photos...
 

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Ligeia

New in Town
Messages
8
Location
Kansas
The side laces, the 333 doesn't have them. Also, the belt of the 333 tapers towards the main zip and has a different (smaller) buckle.
Thank you so much! Of course I immediately looked up "Beck 444" and there it was! Even an old catalog photo in one of these posts, showing light-colored laces, so maybe they are original? Either way, I love the side laces, a little extra flair!
 

Yango

One of the Regulars
Messages
189
Nice jacket!

You can replace the shoe laces with leather laces—which is most likely what was on the jacket originally. You can get them at pretty much any cobbler/shoe repair shop.
 

jeo

One Too Many
Messages
1,944
Location
Philadelphia
Hello! This is my first post, but I have lurked for a while...
I recently had the good fortune to win this beautiful jacket in an estate auction for what I believe was a steal. And it fits! I'm so happy, it is one of the coolest things I own, and I've been collecting vintage for over 25 years. All that being said, I would like some advice as to cleaning and possibly conditioning without damaging anything. It is in very good condition, all the zippers work and the lining is intact. The side laces look like they have been replaced and the collar has some spots of wear. Any advice about replacing the laces with a more period accurate material would be appreciated! Also, any additional information re: time period? Based on what I've learned in some very helpful posts in this forum, it appears to be a 333-D model, from the late 40s or early 50s? Again, any information about it's age would also be helpful. TIA!

Note: I apologize for the sideways photos...

Congrats! Absolutely beautiful! I own two of these. The horsehide is extremely thick. I’d definitely use a conditioner to soften up the leather a bit. You can clean it by wiping it down with a damp cloth/towel/sponge/etc.. and then apply the conditioner. There are many you can use. I used leather honey on my Beck 444 and it worked great in hydrating and softening up the leather.

Thank-you! What is the main difference between the 333 and 444 if I may ask?

The main difference is the 444 has the hand warmer pocket, the 333 does not.
 

Ligeia

New in Town
Messages
8
Location
Kansas
Congrats! Absolutely beautiful! I own two of these. The horsehide is extremely thick. I’d definitely use a conditioner to soften up the leather a bit. You can clean it by wiping it down with a damp cloth/towel/sponge/etc.. and then apply the conditioner. There are many you can use. I used leather honey on my Beck 444 and it worked great in hydrating and softening up the leather.



The main difference is the 444 has the hand warmer pocket, the 333 does not.
Thank-you! I removed the collar and cleaned it up last night, and I've got some leather honey on the way. I figured since you have this exact jacket (times 2!) and had good results then I'll give that a try. I also have several pairs of boots that need a little TLC! I appreciate the recommendation : )
 
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jeo

One Too Many
Messages
1,944
Location
Philadelphia
Thank-you! I removed the collar and cleaned it up last night, and I've got some leather honey on the way. I figured since you have this exact jacket (times 2!) and had good results then I'll give that a try. I also have several pairs of boots that need a little TLC! I appreciate the recommendation : )
For boots you may want to go with something else, maybe Saphir Renovator.

Please post more pics including some fit pics!
 

photo2u

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,137
Location
claremont california
Got to love the Beck's! Get your self a very nice and big horsehair shoe brush. Brush it nice. You will be surprise how much dirt it truly removed by brushing. After is very clean see how the leather behaves with saddle soap. If the leather does not get hard, Do a light saddle soap clean. While is a little damp, condition it with a "good" conditioner.
 
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Ligeia

New in Town
Messages
8
Location
Kansas
Freshly conditioned! I've been wearing it around the house even though it's about 100 degrees outside, lol...I'll post more pics eventually when I've styled it and am actually wearing it out!
 

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