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Antique Wood and Leather Shoe Last c.1920



These are original pairs of cobbler's wooden shoe lasts used to make hand crafted shoes for a certain client. The shoe lasts were kept at the cobbler's shop for custom shoes when the client requested a pair. Many of the shoe last have the client's initials such as "MAJ" and "8 1/2" for example 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.

Please note: Due to the volume of shoes last we have, we have taken only one photo. All shoe last are similar but the color may vary.

  • CREATOR Unknown.
  • 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 shoe making 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.


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