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Shoe mystery

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Gotta figure out what we got here... Along with two identical EG's we came up with a pair of Peal & Co for Brooks Bros that we can't ID too well. The inner leather is clearly handcut, not stamped, the markings are: 12621 stamped in on one side On the other it says: 1 478 1103 No idea how old but entirely unworn and perfect. Nailwork looks identical to the EG's we have in Selling forum. Here's da shoes... one of you fetishists know what we got at the estate sale? Guessing they were not cheap, gotta figure how to price'm.
post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yer kidding me - None of you Trivial Pursuit Footwear edition guys can write 1000 words on these?
post #3 of 15
Carlo, I think they have to be Green. I simply haven't seen that type of heel on any other of the usual suspects. They clearly aren't CJ (nailwork and heel are all wrong), and definitely aren't Sargent (too old). Deduction says Green.
post #4 of 15
I vote nay on Green. The quality most closely approximates C&J benchgrade and the most recent Sargents. The channeled sole isn't quite up to snuff to be a Green, and I'm guessing the sole isn't bevelled either. NCT
post #5 of 15
The opinions of NCT are definitely more educated than mine.
post #6 of 15
Those are bespoke Peals. I have never read anything about it here or anywhere else, but Brooks obviously had a Peal bespoke program at one time. There are a lot of obviously bespoke shoes out there bearing the Peal/Brooks label, I've got a pair sitting here next to me actually. Probably made by EG, though there is a possibility they were from an earlier time and may have actually been made by Peal...
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well... they just sold to a new forum member :-) Pretty construction. Ought to make for some happy feet. Chuck
post #8 of 15
Andrew, Could you please explain? I'll add more to my logic later.
post #9 of 15
The soles of Carlo's shoes, also the inside markings (I pm'd him about them) are consistent with the bespoke Peals (quite a few pairs) I've had in my possession. Carlo's shoes are new, but some of the shoes I've had with the same detailing/markings were obviously very old. They were also clearly made for an individual foot - the shape was inconsistent with a sized shoe, and there was no marked size, just like Carlo's shoes. Interestingly, the insole cover with the embossed Peal/Brooks logo's has changed little, if at all, in 40 or so years.
post #10 of 15
Well, this is interesting. I've had a pair of these same shoes in black for several years now (bought used and in good condition, but obviously from another era). The numbering is very similar: on the side where Carlo's are marked 12621 mine are marked 13628; on the other side mine have a handwritten 2, followed by 479 and 1004 while Carlo's show 1 478 1103. The soles are very distinctive, with Peal stamped into the leather in a manner customary for bespoke shoemakers. For some reason I've always guessed that mine were made in the 1960s. They've always been something of a mystery to me. They don't have an obvious size (though mine are about a US size 10, which could correlate with the first two numbers in 1004, a guess which would be greatly strengthened if these shoes here are about a US size 11). I've never really considered the possibility that they were bespoke, though. There are too many numbers and with the exception of one they are stamped, while bespoke shoes in my experience tend to show only a handwritten order number. But I'm certainly willing to be wrong. Whatever they are they are fine and beautiful shoes. Doesn't Edward Green currently make a shoe very much like this one?
post #11 of 15
Interesting observations Andrew... 1) I didn't realize that the Peal label has been retained for so long.  Though comforting, a little change eases the hassle of differentitating between various vintages. 2) I wasn't very impressed with the sole.  The embossed Peal definitely reeks of bespole, a la Lobb London, but the finishing doesn't look nearly as refined as Cleverley, Lobb, Vass, or even RTW Green, C&J Handgrades, Grenson Masterpiece, etc. 3) The waist looks a bit blah for bespoke.  Or maybe the owner had really wide feet. 4) The heel is the toughest to discern.  I didn't see the Peal embossing on the heel when the shoes were first posted (I'm looking at them with a different monitor). 5) On a screen with better resolution, the leather on the uppers definitely looks a bit dry and in need of a little shoe cream TLC.  I have no idea how long it would take for this to naturally occur (w/o an occasional waxing). 6) Odd toebox.  Definitely not one of the newer EG lasts. Food for thought.. EDIT: Despite my little quips, the shoes are pretty. I'll admit that bespoke wasn't my first guess...
post #12 of 15
Does the pattern of the punching provide a clue?
post #13 of 15
I wasn't very impressed with the sole...the finishing doesn't look nearly as refined as Cleverley, Lobb, Vass, or even RTW Green, C&J Handgrades, Grenson Masterpiece, etc.
Most of the older bespoke shoes I've seen (many of which had not been worn) did not have sole finishing on par with current RTW such as Edward Green, C&J Handgrade etc. Things may have changed in recent years, I'm not certain.
The embossed Peal definitely reeks of bespole, a la Lobb London
Interestingly, the soles of the various London bespoke makers look substantially the same - the main distinguishing mark is name of the house stamped on the sole in the same manner Peal is stamped on Carlo's shoes. As for the bespoke vs. sized issue, I might add that I've sold several sized pairs that seem to be from the same era. They were obviously made by Edward Green, and most of the interior markings were substantially different, also theere was a size clearly indicated.
post #14 of 15
Interestingly, the soles of the various London bespoke makers look substantially the same - the main distinguishing mark is name of the house stamped on the sole in the same manner Peal is stamped on Carlo's shoes.
Well, AFAIK they all use Bakers leather for the soling, and they have alot of overlap amongst the makers they use, so the soles should look similar. Interestingly, I think Lobb is the only maker who now stamps the soles before they go to the maker; I guess they do this so that the maker cannot substitute cheaper leather, but it can cause problems. A piece of sole leather can have a firmer end and a less firm end; you want the maker to use the firmer end for the forefoot and the less firm area for the heel, where it won't be subject to wear. However, because Lobb's sole leather is pre-stamped, the maker has no choice as to orientation; sometimes the lesser quality end must be used for the forefoot. Also, the stamp may not line up square with the heel, so it can be askew relative to the central axis of the sole -- no big deal from a functional perspective, but rather unappealing from an aesthetic perspective. I do think the finishing has improved over the last years; I would guess that this is because the bespoke companies are selling luxury goods, and their customers expect (and deserve) very well finished shoes. Perhaps 30 or 40 years ago, the shoes were not quite such a luxury, or perhaps the customers' expectations were simply lower.
post #15 of 15
I think Lance is right. Back in the 1960s-70s bespoke shoes were not quite the luxury fetish object that they are today. Surely much credit for this must go to the favorable dollar/pound exchange rates which prevailed for so many years. Every once in a while I come across a large collection of bespoke shoes (Henry Maxwell seems to have been the favorite here in San Francisco), often spanning a couple of decades. And while these shoes are usually incredibly beautiful and often made of a grade of leather rarely seen these days, it's also clear that they were routinely ordered as part of a normal wardrobe (including even things like golf shoes). The styles mostly span a narrow range of plain oxfords and wingtips in black and brown and multiple pairs of the very same shoe are not unusual. In contrast, bespoke shoes today seem to be mainly the province of intensely dedicated shoe fans (sorry) who are willing to pay dearly for shoes showing off all the classic features in the custom canon--bevelled waist, chisel toe, fine antiquing, etc. I think previous generations were much less educated in the fine points and probably relied much more heavily on the judgment of the maker, which in general led to less flamboyant and more discrete shoes. Still, I would put the finest shoes of this era up against anything--the best examples show a classic perfection in both design and execution that is rare these days. Nice as they are, I wouldn't put these particular Peals in this elevated class. They are a bit wide, the leather is just nice rather than spectacular, and the broguing doesn't begin to compare with the work done at Maxwell or Lobb. The design, however, is wonderful, really evoking the best of the Edwardian era, and I'm not at all surprised that Edward Green continues to make a shoe in this style (the Wigmore?).
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