Makers & Retailers - Dunhill


Alfred Dunhill (1872–1959) founded Dunhill after he inherited the family saddlery business on Euston Road, London at the age of 21. Dunhill developed a line of automobile accessories called “Dunhill’s Motorities”. This first collection included various car accessories such as horns, leather overcoats, goggles and picnic sets, Dunhill marketed the accessories with the strap line “Everything but the Motor” and within a few years the business moved towards the luxury market opening two Dunhill ‘Motorities’ stores in Mayfair. In 1904 Dunhill patented the “Windshield Pipe” to aid drivers in smoking while driving. Dunhill’s first tobacconist and pipe shop opened in 1907 on Duke Street, London. Dunhill retired from the business in the 1920s, leaving the position of managing director and president to his brother Alfred-Henry and then later to following family members. In 1950s, Dunhill produced one of the first butane gas lighters. This became an extremely popular design and was used regularly by James Bond in both print and on the screen which enhanced its popularity. By the late 1970s, Alfred Dunhill was offering a range of 3,500 luxury products in more than 20 stores round the world. Dunhill began sponsoring golf tournaments in 1985 with the first annual Dunhill Cup golf tournament, following up in 2001 with its successor, the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Dunhill went on to produce a full line of menswear, fragrances, accessories, writing equipment and continue to offer a full tailoring service. Dunhill also produced the famous ‘aquarium’ table lighter with Lucite panels featuring a vast array of scenes including aquariums, horse racing and many others which are highly collectable today.