I consider Frank Willis one of our premier bag and horn makers. I first met him at the 2013 CLA Show. We were discussing southeastern PA bullet bags. Frank had some great work on his table and helped me to understand a little more how I should select the type of bag I wanted.
In emails this August, Frank mentioned that he might have a bag I might be interested in. He had acquired an original bag found in southern (lower) Bucks County. It was a double bag with the inner panel reversed to place the finished side out. Frank, explained that this made the bag unique and required a different edge stitching. Frank made two copies of the bag, and I bought the second one. The photos below show the original bag and the copy he made for me.
When Frank received the bag he found a small note inside that told about the family who owned it. It was his opinion that the bag had been in the family for a number of generations. While the history of the bag ends here, without proof that it came from the colonial period, all of this made the bag more interesting. Besides the bag above, Frank had more neatly done leather work and some very nice horns. When I admired these, Frank mentioned that he made the prize for the CLA president. I included a photo of it below. It is a magnificent combination.
After talking with Frank and seeing his work, I’d recommend his bags and horns to everyone. And, when you see him next, ask him about his most recent bear hunt. I’m sure he will have his story ready.
Frank Willis contact information: 908-246-8935
Larry Pletcher, editor: BlackPowderMag
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