No. 1 Grip – American Alligator Serial No. cps005



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No. 1 Grip – American Alligator Travel Bag – Serial No. cps005

People often ask me what I do, and I sometimes say, “I’m in the romance business.” The No. 1 Grip in American Alligator perfectly illustrates that point. The romance associated with American Alligator is legendary and I can tell you for a fact that it’s easy to fall in love with the timeless elegance of this bag.

American Alligator bags have always been considered luxury items. Over the years, I have haunted antique shops around the country in search of vintage alligator bags made by superior craftsmen in the late 1800s/early 1900s. I can tell you they are few and far between and costly when you’re lucky enough to stumble across a viable one.

A bag like this doesn’t just roll off some assembly line. It is planned and orchestrated to the smallest detail. Due to the nature of alligator, there’s usually a lot of scrap left over when making a product. It took the premium cuts of three hides, the largest one being 10 feet long, to make this bag. (See photo above.)

I personally chose the three hides that were used and supervised every step of the construction at the hands of our master leathersmith, Lana Owens. It took at least a couple of hours just to study the hides before making the first cut. There is an art to planning a bag like this, and mistakes can be costly. But the end result is well worth it. This is truly a custom, handcrafted bag of superior quality. It comes with instant heritage, because it looks as if it could have been inherited from your Grandfather.

I’ve included a little photo pamphlet in the bag showing its construction from start to finish, and I’m also including the tail end from the 10 ft. hide used in the construction of the bag. There are pieces in our line that I have a hard time letting go of. This is certainly one of them, but I know this special bag will go to someone who appreciates it as much as I do.

– Colonel Littleton


  • This leather-lined custom bag is serial numbered 004, dated and signed by the leathersmiths who made it and by the Colonel. It comes with a pommel shield banner hangtag, also signed by the Colonel.
  • Aside from the sheer beauty of the bag, it is user friendly and quite serviceable. There’s plenty of room to carry everything you need for an overnight stay, or it serves well as your personal carry-on-bag for extended trips. It opens wide and packs easily.
  • Overall Size 11”H x 19”W x 10.5”D. Shoulder strap with comfort pad adjusts from 36.5” to 44.5”.
  • Appointed with solid brass hardware. Features our unique lever-action buckling mechanism and handsome strap arrangement.
  • The hides we use are from alligators raised and trapped in the wild. Each hide is intentionally chosen to show the natural character markings such as scars and scratches that are common to alligators raised in the wild. The straps on this bag are made from sections of steerhide which also show unique character and are a perfect complement to the bag.
  • Brass oval plate under the front flap may be personalized with three initials.
  • Product packaging includes a protective cotton canvas dust bag.
  • Available for shipping within the United States Only.

Click to learn more about our American Alligator.

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Our Story

Our Warranty
Our Warranty

We are committed to producing quality, handcrafted products that showcase our time-honored standards of excellence and deep respect for the Americana tradition. Col. Littleton products go through rigorous testing and numerous quality inspections before being shipped to our customers. Should you receive a Col. Littleton product that is defective in materials or workmanship, you can count on us to make it right. Our guarantee is limited to the cost of the product itself. It also does not cover normal wear and tear. We feel if you just plain “wore it out,” you got your money’s worth. Also, we cannot be responsible for an item which has suffered through alteration, damage due to improper cleaning, improper use, mishandling or accident. If we made a mistake in personalizing your product or if the product is defective in materials or workmanship, of course we’ll replace it. Otherwise, personalized products are not returnable.

Our Leather

Leather is a passion for me. There are more kinds of leather and leather processing out there than you can shake a stick at. You can mold leather into just about any shape or form. You can make every hide look just alike. You can dye it green, blue or even pink. You can apply a finish, coat it, spray it or make it look slick and shiny. That’s not what we’re about at Col. Littleton. To me the beauty is in the naturalness of the leather. People always comment to me about the special “feel” of our leather and how it becomes even more beautiful after it has some wear on it. It’s all about our leather process. When you buy Col. Littleton leather goods, you’re buying, for the most part, full-grain American vegetable-tanned steer hide that has received a minimum of alteration. We don’t apply a finish to hide character markings. The way I see it, every marking tells a story and covering them robs the piece of its life and character.

Our Leather
Our Craftsmanship
Our Craftsmanship

I see a real resurgence in the country today for products made in America. Our focus is to design and create products that speak to the time-honored traditions that have made this country great such as handmade craftsmanship, authentic rich leathers and quality workmanship. There’s a nostalgic feel about the products we make . . . most of them could have been made 100 years ago and many are made using turn-of-the-20th-century methodology and machinery. Our products are true Americana; forged as our forefathers intended by people who care and take pride in making a beautiful product.