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Peal bespoke shoes

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have a wonderful pair of loafers here that are stamped (on the insole cover) with a royal warrant and a caption that says "BOOTMAKERS TO THE LATE KING GEORGE V., PEAL & CO LTD, 48 WIGMORE St., LONDON W.1, MADE IN ENGLAND.) They also bear the markings "599374" and and what looks like the logo of a boot and a fox with "PEAL, LONDON, MADE IN ENGLAND" underneath the logo. There is no marked size and they seem to be bespoke shoes. From Alan Flusser's account of his early infatuation with the Peal/Edward Green/Brooks Brothers shoes it seems that Peal was bought out a LONG time ago. So my question is - how old are these shoes?? They are in perfect shape and the leather is still supple. Could they be 40 or more years old or was there someone still making Peal bespoke shoes more recently? Or is there some other option I'm overlooking? I'm going to try and post some pics when I get a chance.
post #2 of 7
Funny you should mention Peal & Co. There was an auction on eBay, a pair of loafers ending last night, which did not make a great deal of money. The venerable firm of Peal & Co closed down sometime in the early to mid 1960s, having had their last premises somewhere in Oxford Street. I do not know when they left Wigmore Street, maybe in the 1950s. George V died 1936; obviously your shoes were made after that date. As the firm did not hold a warrant for George VI (Lobb, I presume) they obviously continued mentioning their former royal connections. Whether they mentioned that fact until they closed down, I do not know. It is possible (although I do not know) that Peal also sold a line of ready-to-wear shoes. Those private label shoes would have been made by some manufacturer in Northampton (maybe Edward Green). For one reason or another the name Peal & Co was bought by Brooks Brothers, obviously to give some oldy-worldly respectability to their stock. As far as I know, nobody in England (either bespoke or factory) used the name after the demise of the firm. I would say your shoes were made sometime in the 1940s or 50s, obviously bespoke as there is no size and just the reference number to identify the client. Nice to hear they are in good condition, usually the leather got cracked after that length of time. Someone (manton?) once mentioned on this forum that Peal used a sort of "banana" last (so beloved in Vienna) where the inside is on a more or less straight line and the outside is highly curved. I believe this is the type of last Alan Flusser uses for his own label shoes. (You might want to contact him.)
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks Bengal Stripe. I knew I could rely on you I'm going to post some pictures so that everyone can see how great a good pair of shoes can look after 50-60 years. They weren't worn much but it is still an accomplishment
post #4 of 7
This is off on a tangent, but I recall that Count Lippe, a character in Ian Fleming's 1961 novel "Thunderball", wears Peal shoes.
post #5 of 7
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Here are pictures of the Peal Loafers - I will be posting them on ebay shortly:
post #7 of 7
Gosh, they do look stunning. Normally in old shoes the leather gets too dry and cracks. But not in these beauties. They must have been kept for the last fifty years in just the right humidity. Who knows, maybe Messrs Peal supplied a humidor to go with their shoes.
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