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Another Shell Cordovan Mystery?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I've never seen chocolate brown shell cordovan, but I picked up these shoes on Ebay for a song (LF Lidfort Norwegian construction for Barney's NY), and can't decide if these are made from shell cordovan or corrected grain. The shoes were lacking a box, and there was absolutely nothing as far as information on the sock liner or sole. The uppers were in pristine condition when they arrived at my apartment. I tend to crease bluchers with higher insteps pretty badly, and shell cordo bluchers especially. Given the pattern of creasing, they look to be more shell than corrected grain. They also feel more like than shell than corrected grain, though the thin backing on the leather makes it confusing. To further complicate the matter, Lidfort threw in some funky skin stiching across the uppers. I defer to Bengal stripe for a proper description.

ANY IDEAS THAT SWAY YOU EITHER WAY? Has anyone ever come across Lidfort made from shell cordo? I know they use limited corrected grain in their entry level-shoes.

My new "denim" shoes are pictured below:
post #2 of 11
I dig!
post #3 of 11
No codes, nothing inside?

Btw, keep meaning to ask: what are those double monks in your avatar? Love the colour!
post #4 of 11
I believe if you bend them, cordovan has a distinct coloration in the crease, which corrected grain obviously lacks.
post #5 of 11
They certainly have the look of Cordovan about them. How's the weight? All my SC shoes weigh in above average.
post #6 of 11
It's always a bit difficult to judge from a photograph, but I believe your shoes are shell cordovan. I also think that the Norwegian construction is sewn by hand. I've never come across the brand Lidfort before, they must be their highest grade and most expensive shoes.

Chocolate brown shell cordovan? Never seen J & J's "ËśMarlow' for RL? I think (within reason) shell cordovan can come in all shades of earth tones.

If the shell cordovan feels thinner than on American shoes, that might be a European trend. I would say (although I can't measure it) Carmina (Albaladejo) uses their shell cordovan somewhat thinner. It will be the standard thickness supplied by Horween, they just split it down a bit further. They all have these computerised splitting machines which you can set to 1/10th of a millimetre.

The fancy apron stitching seems to be quite popular at the moment with Italian shoemakers. Here is a picture fellow forum member T4phage posted at another site:

Apron stitching:


The cobbler is stitching the underside of the apron. The vertical stitches are on top of the leather, while the horizontal ones cross at half of the thickness. When you turn the thing around, you only see the indentations of the stitches crossing over.

I think you got yourself a pretty bargain. The shoes aim stylistically at Lattanzi territory, although price wise, they might clock in at less. (I don't think at original retail price, you would have gotten much change from $ 1000.)
post #7 of 11
They certainly look like cordovan to me!
post #8 of 11
Norcal...I have several pair of Lidfort and I can verify that they are indeed both shell and of Norwegian construction. These go for $1000+. Congrats on the steal of the century!
post #9 of 11
Nice pickup! The giveaway that these are shell cordovan in your picture is the lighter crease across the vamp of the shoe on the right (i.e. the leather in the crease is lighter than the surrounding leather).

I own a pair of shell cordovan shoes made by a now defunct American company called Nettleton that use quite thin leather, thinner than either Alden or C&J. It also holds a much better shine, to the extent that I was originally unsure they were shell cordovan, but the creasing gave them away.
post #10 of 11
Not a shell cordovan expert by any stretch, by it would seem bizzare to me that a manufacturer would bother with fancy hand-stitching if the leather was anything but top-quality.

While I generally dislike the triple-welted Norwegian craze, I have to admit that these shoes are exceedingly good looking and would make for excellent casual wear. Congrats on a great find.
post #11 of 11
Sweet!
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