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Vintage Shell Cordovan Quality?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

It's fairly common for vintage shell cordovan shoes made by "lesser" brands (Bostonian, Johnson & Murphy, etc.) to show up on eBay.

 

Example: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mint-Vintage-Johnston-Murphy-Brown-Shell-Cordovan-Wingtip-Oxfords-6-C-A-C-US-/251341199281?pt=US_Men_s_Shoes&hash=item3a851a57b1

 

Can anyone speak to the quality of the shoes/material? Presumably they're not up to, say, Alden standards (for either), but are they a good buy? Anything I should be looking out for?

 

Thanks

post #2 of 7
The older shell is, the thicker it is usually.
http://cobbler.txt-nifty.com/blog/2013/01/winter-gift-74b.html
04.jpg
Quote:
http://www.thefedoralounge.com/showthread.php?67887-Horween-USA-and-Aero-Leather-Joint-Statement&p=1543903&viewfull=1#post1543903

Tho, way back in 1986-88 there was the odd batch of particularly heavy horse, but as Arnold Missner (the then president of Horween) explained that some of that horse that was in store was from old working cart horses, which is why it was so heavy, but its been WELL over 20 years since we've seen any of that and it had probably been sitting in store at Horween for 20 years at that point!
(The poster above, cloudylemonade, is the daughter of the founder of Aero leather.)
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Interesting.

 

Also, re: that thread - criminal charges for leather misrepresentation, holy hell.

post #4 of 7

I own a few pairs of vintage shells and believe the leather was of better quality back when. Though I only have my AE shells to compare. Alden and C&J quality could be a different matter. 

 

I can't speak to the quality of construction.

 

Things to look out for: Really examine the quality of vintage shells on eBay. You don't want to end up with a dried out pair of shells that will be worthless in the end. Ask sellers if the shell is dry/cracked anywhere and if you require it, ask for more pictures in case theirs are not clear.

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by VegTan View Post

The older shell is, the thicker it is usually.
http://cobbler.txt-nifty.com/blog/2013/01/winter-gift-74b.html
04.jpg

This is probably true, but in this pic, the shoe on the right has a lined tongue and the one on the left has an unlined tongue. The shell is probably the same thickness on both pair.
post #6 of 7
Both have no stitching on the tongues and are fully unlined loafers.

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by masernaut View Post

I own a few pairs of vintage shells and believe the leather was of better quality back when. Though I only have my AE shells to compare. Alden and C&J quality could be a different matter. 

I can't speak to the quality of construction.

Things to look out for: Really examine the quality of vintage shells on eBay. You don't want to end up with a dried out pair of shells that will be worthless in the end. Ask sellers if the shell is dry/cracked anywhere and if you require it, ask for more pictures in case theirs are not clear.

Would you mind to teach us more about this? Don't know what to look at through the pictures whether it's dry / cracked..
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