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Vintage Shell Cordovan Quality?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by briancpotter, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. briancpotter

    briancpotter Active Member

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    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-Vintag...1199281?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
     


  2. VegTan

    VegTan Senior member

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

    (The poster above, cloudylemonade, is the daughter of the founder of Aero leather.)
     


  3. briancpotter

    briancpotter Active Member

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    Interesting.

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


  4. masernaut

    masernaut Senior member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013


  5. jerrybrowne

    jerrybrowne Senior member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013


  6. VegTan

    VegTan Senior member

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    Both have no stitching on the tongues and are fully unlined loafers.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     


  7. JTA

    JTA Senior member

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    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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