The Royal Deer was originally made for King Christian X of Denmark in the 1930's by RHANDERS. A national treasure from the royal forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was discovered in RHANDERS’ atelier in 2022, when moving premises after 90 years. It has now been brought to life via iconic danish design pieces, crafted according to precious and honored artisan traditions. The design pieces are dedicated to elevating upcycling to the highest art – absolutely limited and highly valuable for collectors of cultural heritage and danish design.

The Royal Deer Products are released as limited editions, once a year during three years. The first products are symbolically gifted to Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark.


It was King Christian X, who owned the royal deer herd during the 1930’s and who trusted RHANDERS with crafting gloves and accessories from the precious leather for the royal household.

All the leathers are marked with the years 1931 to 1939. However, for some reason not all leathers were used at that time. Some were hidden during World War II and kept for a special occasion. Only in 2023, when the leather stock room had to be moved from the location it had been peacefully sitting in for more than 95 years, the Royal Deer Leather was rediscovered. 

The leather had been carefully looked after during the century of storage. The temperature was routinely measured (it should never fall below 16 degrees celsius or above 29 degrees celsius) and humidity was carefully controlled (it should never fall below 40% and never go top of 60%). In addition, it had been given an infusion of fresh air once a month, almost ritually. So, the leather was in top shape to be given a new life - nearly one hundred years later. 


The Royal Deer Leather is tanned according to chamois traditions, in the most natural and 'green' manner. The leather is split and tanned with fish oils, making it multi-dimensional, soft, spongy and durable. It exudes a hand-feel quite unlike any other leather, which is usually more flat and structured. Furthermore, the tanning results in a very characteristic colour. You see, the chamois colour is famous for its natural butter cream hue. 

In fact, the chamois colour is so distinct, due to the fish oils, that it is impossible to re-colour it into any other tone. The only way to dress the leather in another colour is to brush dye it - on one side only. And, there is only one place in Europe with the expertise for this - a family tannery in the midst of the Austrian alps. So, we engaged the experts in colouring a selection of the royal deer leather in their only advised colour; a sumptuous chocolate brown. 

Back at the glove atelier in Denmark, the tale goes, that Erik Vejrum (former co-owner of RHANDERS) in the 1960's would put a piece of the deer leather in his mouth and slowly chew it all day long, and lovingly refer to it as his vitamin pill for the day.


As with all handcrafted products in our atelier, they go through a meticulous process before being ready to serve their purpose as gloves, bags and other precious leather goods. 

0 · Finding the purpose in life
Before anything, we must have each piece of leather through our hands to see, touch and feel the purpose of the leather. Some pieces are destined for bags, as they are more sturdy in structure, but velvet like and flawless on the surface. Other pieces are delicate, thin and butter-soft so they can be artfully shaped into gloves in various sizes depending on the thickness of the leather. Yet other pieces are thick, spongy and goes easily back into shape when stretched, so their calling is in clothing.

1 · The ritual of balancing overnight moist
In order to work the leather into shape and stretch the desired glove size into the leather, the leather needs to be perfectly moist. This is best achieved by hanging in humid weather conditions - preferably by our lake in RHANDERS Forest - overnight. This way, the entire surface of the leather gets dampened in a natural and balanced manner and the body of the leather sucks in just the right amount of moisture for the fibers to soften nice and smoothly. 
You might think that we treat the Royal Deer Leather like the Princess and the Pea, but believe us, we have tried other treatments (like spraying water, giving it a shower, rolling it in wet blankets overnight, etc.) but nothing works the magic like a lullaby by the forest lake - so we keep up the treatment that secures the best results.

2 · Toggling and stretching
After a night of natural moist treatment by Mother Earth, the leather is wrapped to preserve the moisture until it is being rolled out and stretched by the glove maker. This is an act of dance and fingerspitzgefühl incorporated and refined over 60 years at our atelier, so rare and secretive that we simply cannot explain it in words, but will allow a picture to offer a glimpse into the tradition.

3 · Cutting and resting under pressure
When the leather has been worked into the desired state and size, it has to rest for 24 hours, so that it doesn't get stressed. Yes admittedly, it sounds like something out of a fairytale - but it works, so we let it have its beauty sleep without questioning it. 
Finally, when the time is right, we negotiate with the leather about the correct placement of the product, then stamp out the glove with our ion cutting dies, which we have used since the 1960's, or cut out the shapes for the Swan Bag by hand.
And then.. you guessed right.. the Royal Deer Leather needs another nap. This time it rests for a day under pressure. At least 5 kg sits neatly and evenly on top of the fine leather to let it sink into its new shape. If it is not given time and pressure, it simply retracts to where it came from - and the four days work up until now would be wasted!

4 · Sewing perfectly matching pairs
When the seamstress receives the Royal Deer Leather, it is paired up with perfect matching mates, marked with the glover’s personal sign, and chalk stamped with the sizing. So now the skillful mastery of transforming the flat leather into 3D shapes begins.
For the Alexandrine gloves, the 100-year-old Piqué sewing machine is used. It has no electrical power, so the seamstress's movements are beautifully choreographed - the subtle actions of the legs and feet invite the hands and shoulders to work in a synchronous dance, stitch by stitch. It's indeed very calming and very mesmerizing to observe.

5 · Hand stitching perfect soft edges
There is never a pair of gloves, a bag or a piece of clothing that goes through our atelier without being finished by hand. This is the work of the hand stitching seamstress and is an entirely different discipline to the choreographed dance with one’s machine, which become part of oneself. 
Instead, edges, hems and soft corners meet each other by the help of a free-hand stitch.

6 · Ironing into final form and function
The rare and beautiful Royal Deer Leather has now been pampered, stretched and shaped into a beautiful function. However, it is not complete and might look like nothing but a crinkled cloth until it meets the ion shaped as a hand, which can get it into its final shape. 

7 · 14 karat gold plated hardware
As a final mark, a full 7 days later, the product is ready to be marked with its meaning – proudly showing the world where it belongs, what mastery it has been through and where it deserves to serve its purpose in the world.


To mark the revival of the treasured Royal Deer Leather after a century of hibernation, we adorned the unique products with the iconic RH Monogram emblem. The RH Monogram is a reimagination of our original heritage RH logo, which was selectively featured on coats, jackets, clothes, and shoes between the 1950s and 1990s. It pays homage to the rich design heritage of RHANDERS and the precious natural materials that remain unparalleled to this day.

The imagery was artistically shot by Shini Park at the Bank of England

It is our hope that it will continue to inspire wonder and awe for generations to come.