Seeking advice on Anthony


Dec 30, 2009

I have been a frequent visitor on tPF for a few months now, reading and building my knowledge on Mulberry and a couple of other favourites but this is my very first post. I have decided to get the small Ant, which is also my first Mulberry. Everyone on the Mulberry subforum seem friendly and full of wisdom, so I am hoping someone can help me out with some advice.

I am considering Anthony in oak (or black), however having no prior experience with the small guy as well as with oak, I find myself struggling with some questions. The Ant seems very popular here - maybe you guys can share your opinions?

1) How worried should I be over:
  • rain and water marks? And how easily does water stain on oak - does it take only a few drops or heavy rain storm?
  • colour transfer from dark jeans?
I don't mind babying the bag as long as it is a serious workhorse, and I don't want to be constantly worried and stressed over it. Perhaps oak is simply not for me and I should opt for black instead? While choc is lovely, it is not a practical choice for my warderobe.

2) How well does the small Ant hold its shape? Also, a bit worried the bottom of the bag might begin to sag over time, as I have seen on some of the photos. How likely is it and is there a way to prevent that? I guess my problem is I like a structured bag...

3) I want to buy new, so is NVT the only option? The threads include many photos of tPF-rs with their beautiful Darwin Anthonys, so if there is any chance of Mulberry still selling Darwin new, it would be excellent. What are your feelings regarding NVT on Ant?

Sorry for the beginner questions. I have read the Mulberry subforum through and through and while there is lots of valuable information and great pics on Anthony, I did not find direct answers to what I was interested in. I hope someone can help and share the wisdom with me on my first Mulberry. Thanks for your effort in advance!
Jul 9, 2009
Hi LC and welome to the forum- get posting and ask as many questions as you like there are loads of experts on here. Im not one!!

TBH Im not a huge ant fan- Lady F is the ant queen and should be on soon!! she is another early bird

You wont get darwin new anymore they dont make any bags in that leather anymore unfortunately. The other new choices are soft spongy leather and goatskin- which are softer and imo more user friendly re rain spots etc- they also some in more colours that might suit your wardrobe like ink ?


Jan 29, 2010

Im a Newbie-ish too :smile:

I've been looking at the antony as well. I really want to invest but i've been holding back with similar questions that you have. I really didn't like the antony at first but it grew on me and now i really need it!

I've been reading the forum for a while too and i was saw what somebody (can't remember who) said that the ink from the antony rubbed off onto jeans they were wearing. Is this a common thing?

Sorry i haven't answered any questions, i've just complicated things!


I have an oak ant. I do not baby it at all (I do with other bags but made a conscious decision to use and abuse my ant). I've never had transfer from denim (and I live in jeans) but do have rainspots. The first time I used ant we got drenched and there were lots of marks. Now they are blending in and it is developing a gorgeous patina. I have 2 other oak bags and IMHO ant looks best because of the rough treatment. Now I can use it in the rain with no hesitation. I have a large ant in ink too which is lightweight and brilliant in the rain. This holds it's shape less well than oak due to the softer leather. They are both in my album. Oh and oak is NVT. Hope this helps.
Mar 7, 2007
London, England
I have a NVT (natural vegetable tanned) Ant in black.

It is a very good workhorse bag, the NVT (which is the successor to Darwin) holds it shape brilliantly and has yet to sag. I would say that the spongy leather ones would not be so shape-holding.

I bought mine as a concert bag - just a great size to shove phone, keys, camera, hat, thin cardigan, small umbrella in - yes I can fit a lot in a small Ant. He is quite cool!
He is a great grab bag to pop to the pub or shops with and in black doesn't need any babying at all.

I am sure if you got an oak one (if that is your preference) and collinol treated it then it should be fine and would age beautifully - which you cannot see happening on the black one.
Feb 26, 2008
Hi longchamper & welcome!!

I think everyone should have at least one ant in their Mulberry collection!! I have a large choc ant in soft grain leather which I use all the time! It's a bit slouchy now when empty but usually it's quite full so holds its shape well.

I used to have a burgundy antony in nvt, lovely lovely bag but I found it hard to match. It's small but bigger than you think. I think the smaller ant has excellent proportions, better than the bigger one actually. I now have a navy ant (yet to be revealed!!!) to replace the bugundy as I thought it would be more useful with my wardrobe. My navy is heavy grain & I think will be softer & less structured than my nvt, but it's not as soft as the current ink ants which I thought would be too soft for me. Bluecat has given you great advice about oak!

I hope this helps! Good luck & let us know what you decide :smile:


May 21, 2009
If you're worried about sagging you can cut some cardboard and place in the bottom ;)

Other than that, I've got nothing to add :smile:


Dec 30, 2009
Thank you everyone!

I was intitially torn between oak and black but tried to convince myself the oak would give more variation. Now thanks to all of your comments I am convinced black is the one for me, as there is less risk of marks and I would like my Ant to look forever young (perhaps shows the patina less). And black is unarguably one of the greatest classics, wears well almost year-round and I especially love the way black looks with the contrasting hardware.

And NVT sounds like the best choice for what I am looking for as well.

So my winner is small black Ant in NVT after all.

Once again, thank you all!
Sep 1, 2008
Melbourne, AU
Longchamper and welcome to the forum!
I have 2 Ants and i love them to bits, they are such handy bags. I used to have an oak ant to but i sold it as i never really used it (for me i just don't love this bag in oak)
Choc is the one i have used the most come rain or shine and it still looks great. I don't think with a bag like this it matters if it starts to lose shape and it's meant to be a workhorse. I'm very anal with my other bags but my Ants have been used without worry and they still look good!


Jan 1, 2010
Hi and welcome to the Mulberry gang!
If you want a bag that you can use and not baby the Antony is a great choice. If you don't want one which shows it's patina and use then you are probably right to avoid the oak.
I have a heavy grain Ant in navy and it has been sprayed with collinol but not babied and has been out in the rain. It will take abuse and still look good. Because the leather is heavy I don't think it will sag too much. If that worries you some people have put a small plastic square or rectangle at the bottom of the bag to reduce the risk of it happening.
The strap on the small Ant is quite wide but this makes for a super comfortable messenger bag.
I think the Ant is one of the best, most useful of the casual Mulberry bags and I think you could use it for years to come. Btw I love black bags and think a black Antony would look great.
You have to come back and show us your first Mulberry (I doubt it will be the last!)


Jan 1, 2010
There's a nice Black Ant with silver hardware on ebay at the moment. Looks lovely with the silver. The seller is my_favourite_handbag. You could ask to have it authenticated here on the "Authenticate this" thread to make sure it's ok.


Feb 14, 2010
Jersey, Channel Islands
Hi LC and welcome! As i was told only a couple of months ago it is a slippery slope from now on!
My first Mulberry was a black antony, and i still love him. I am also quite new to all of this but so far am a believer in buying bags that can actually be used and i like you i dont want to have to worry about them.

My ant in black is just that, i got him for my birthday in 2008 and wear him A LOT... I have never treated it with anything (mainly because until recently i didnt know you had to) and it has been fine in rain. He was out with me yesterday in fact and it rained very heavily and no marks.

Also i was worried at first about transfer of colour on to light clothing but have never experienced anything like that with mine.

He has held his shape well and sits really nicely across the body. Some signs of wear around the edges where the corners are sealed but i would nt change him for the world.

Id say its a great first choice, obviously cant talk for the oak but i love mine. Best of luck!
Jan 31, 2009
Derbyshire, England
Welcome to the forum Longchamper!

Nothing much to add by way of advice - I'm sure you'll love the Antony, and can't wait to see pics when it arrives.
Don't forget to give it a spray with Collonil, though if you do go for the black option, it isn't a total disaster if you don't treat it with the spray.