Antique Wood and Leather Shoe Last c.1920
This is an original pair of cobbler's wooden shoe last used to make hand crafted shoes for a certain client. The shoe last were kept at the cobbler's shop for custom shoes when the client requested a pair. These shoe last have the client's initials "MAJ" and "8 1/2" stamped on each pair. The tops of each shoe are removable and held together with rawhide leather. Both have a cast iron hole on the top. They have retained their original finish and have the appropriate wear.
- CREATOR Unknown.
DATE OF MANUFACTURE c.1920
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES Maple or Beech, Rawhide, Cast Iron.
- CONDITION Good. Wear consistent with age and use.
- DIMENSIONS H 4 in. W 11.5 in. D 4 in.
The last is the soul of a shoe. Apart from selecting the leather, there are few elements of the shoemaking process that are more impactful on the end result than the crafting of a last. Originally hand carved by cordwainers, i.e. bespoke shoemakers, using hardwoods like maple or beech.
This pair was salvaged from a cobbler's shop in the Mission District of San Francisco. The shop was open from the 1920s and closed in 2018.