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Vintage 1930s Mens Dressing Gown Les Grands Magasins Hannaux Alexandria Egypt Size L


  • Product Description

There is a little bit of Egyptian history in this wonderful heavy wool dressing gown.  It came from the Grands Magasins Hannaux, a chain of Egyptian department stores, owned by the Hannaux family.  Gabriel Hannaux founded a haberdashery and toy store in Al-Mousski in 1882 and a dry goods store called “Au Petit Bazaar” in 1887, which was sold to employee Moreno Cicurel, who used it to launch his own Grands Magasins Cicurel.  In 1903, the Hannaux family established their first department store in Cairo, and went on to build five stores located in Cairo and Alexandria, the flagship store being in Alexandria.  Their goal was to establish department stores like the Galeries Lafayette in Paris.  In fact, the employees in the Alexandria store spoke French rather than Arabic.  After the July revolution of 1952, the Hannaux stores were nationalized by the Nasser government.  The Hannaux and Cicurel families were Sephardic Jews and prior to nationalization, there had been arson attacks on the stores in 1948 and again in 1952, as they were considered symbols of outside influence. 

This dressing gown made of a thick woven wool in a brownish maroon and white twill exterior and a plaid interior in colours of maroon, green and white.  The plaid shows on the shawl lapels, the turned cuffs and along the top of the applied patch pocket positioned at either side and at the left chest.  The robe has green and white satin roped trim along the lapels, on the pockets and at the cuffs.  It closes with a matching rope belt.    

Label:  Gds Mag.ins Hannaux Paris-Alexandrie

Age: Given the appearance of the dressing gown and the label, I would have to date this to the 1930s, certainly not later, and possibly earlier

Sizing: No size is indicated, and although this should fit a large size, please rely on the following measurements for fit:

Shoulders: 20” across, from shoulder/sleeve seam to shoulder/sleeve seam
Sleeves: 26” long form shoulder/sleeve seam
Sleeve Inseam: 19” long
Chest: 50” around, taken under the arms, approximate, depending on overlap
Waist: 48” around, uncinched, but meant to be cinched with the belt
Hips: 50:
Overall length: 51“

Condition:  It is in very good condition except for a wear spot to the nappe (finish) at the middle back, in the belt area (see last close-up photo), probably caused by rubbing from the belt, as well as a small spot at the hemline, that one being very minor.  Otherwise, there is no other pronounced wear, tear, holes, stains or odour - surprising for an old wool robe like this.

This is a rather rare item - I think that it would be difficult to find another example like it.  It harks back to pre-war Egypt when the French, as well as other European countries, had a lot of influence in Egypt, but also when Cairo and Alexandria were cosmopolitan centres.  Despite the wear spots, this is a wonderful dressing gown - fabulous look!

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