Following up on my quarterly shoe report, the antiquing job on my Ralph Lauren Double Monks (C&J?) was stripped through the judicious use of a little isopropyl alcohol and elbow grease. Before: After: I usually avoid blind Ebay purchases, especially for Italian shoes with their lasting eccentricities and variability in quality. Sketchy sellers are also another problem, though I decided to gamble on these Lidforts, and managed to hit the virtual thrift jackpot. As the selection of Ralph Lauren Polo C&J/Sanders(?) shoes began to dry up on Styleforum’s favorite virtual shoe store, GVH, a pair of three-eyelet antique tan derbies (identical last as the Chawners (double-monks) and Tellman) appeared in my size. I had worn the double monks three or four times at this point, and decided that they rank pretty high on my fit and comfort scale. Scrapping up some Ebay funds, I placed a snipe, and won them for a very reasonable price. When they arrived, I was a bit disappointed—they had been obviously tried on, the dust cloth was missing, and, worst of all, the color on the shoes did not match at all. Not giving up hope, I broke out my bottle of isopropyl alcohol and some ethanol wipes, and went to work. Before pics aren’t available, but you can check out the results below. Though I was the originator of the CT shoe thread, I honestly don’t need anymore shoes, and have vowed not buy anything less than AE/Peal-Sargent/Ferragamo-LO level of shoedom. I regret not picking up a few “slim-fit” casual shirts for the weekend and such, but the savings allowed me to gamble on the bluchers, PLUS one more gamble. Thanks to poor quality photos, I found another pair of Polo English-made bluchers in my size for a gamble-worthy price. Even if the lasting didn’t fit me, the fact they were English-made, and in advertised “new, floor sample” condition, led me to believe that I could at least recoup my cost if everything didn’t work out. I placed a bottom feeder snipe and won! Seller pics for both derbies below: After a little NCT magic (Bostonian carnuba wax, JM Weston beeswax, water, and a T-shirt) over three weeknight episodes of Sportscenter before bedtime, I managed to clean-up and mirror shine my new acquisitions. BTW, my total expense was a bit more than the advertised CT footwear fire sale. Results below: Since this is an EDUCATIONAL THREAD, and not just another post about showing off my new goodies (it is…), please note the DIFFERENCE in the SOLE picture. The newer, and marginally higher quality English “benchmade” Polos sold by GVH of Crockett and Jones or Sanders origin feature a channeled sole, and slightly beveled waist, while the older English-“benchmade” Polos from an unknown era, display a stiched aloft sole. Which leads to the mystery of this thread, WHEN WERE THESE MADE? And, are they still C&J? Considering the heel counter, nail pattern, level of finish, and shape of the last, my bet would still stand with Crockett and Jones. I would also venture that the retail on these was probably around $425-450ish—the retail on the English line in the late-nineties. Opinions, personal experiences, and commentary about the aesthetic preference for two and three eyelet bluchers will be entertained. PS: BTW, the black derbies are replacing a pair of Bally square-toes that were purchased before the advent of Styleforum, which have been serving faithfully as rain shoes. That responsibility will now be shared by a pair of Aldens and AE. The Ballys are headed to the SA.