For some reason I thought the auction indicated Alden of Madison. I love whiskey and I really like monk straps, but together they don't work for me as much as I would have expected. My guess is that if I had a shot at these at normal retail (just paid $750 for whiskey PTB's), I would seriously consider them. I don't thing the E width will stop these from fetching close to a $1k. 9.5E on Aberdeen is probably close to 9.5D on barrie, which is a pretty common size.
But I am curious as well on how many were made as well. I'm not normally a conspiracy theorist, but I've often suspected some less than ethical activity going on with these rare make ups that no one hears about that end up on EBAY listing for hundreds over retail.
They were probably made for an Asian retailer and never saw the light of day in the U.S. Retailers like Beams, Tassels, Unipair get a ton of love from Alden. As usual, retailers do not advertise when they get rare shell orders, often times you need to get a bit lucky with someone not wanting their original pair, or retailers might get stock from other shops that are discards (has happened to AoM a few times from what they have told me).
I do not think anything unscrupulous is going on with the rare shell market other than the fact that some people stumble on a pair and decide to resell.