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JOHN LOBB Important Antique Bespoke Navvy Cut Field Boots, Cir.1940: 42,5D

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John Lobb
England, Circa 1940
"Navvy Cut Ankle Boot"
Scotch Grain, Hob Nailed, Brogued-Cap-Toe, 9-Eyelet, 
Antique Bespoke Field Boots
& Boot Trees
Euro 3600
All original except for the new laces, the last word for the collector, a museum piece but eminently wearable, this is the finest boots I have ever offered. Safely dated to 1945 or earlier (of course well before Hermes’ acquisition of the Paris branch). They are custom made, perfectly preserved and beautifully patina-ed. This classic model is still made to day: http://www.johnlobbltd.co.uk/catalogue/fullsize_images/Website_shoes_boots/Website_boots/Navvycut/cap6inchhigh_navvycutboot.htm
The warmth and beauty of the leather can hardly be described nor can the photos do more than begin to do this masterpiece justice. I estimate that today, with VAT and boot trees this would be a Euro 8100 ordered from Lobb, but in that case you would be getting just another new boot, not this great treasure that comes trailing clouds of glory from a more gracious time in history. 
The effect of this boot on the connoisseur who sees you wearing it is incomparable. Imagine wearing this boot when visiting your own shoemaker or popping into Lobb’s shop in London, Paris or New York. It would be as if you entered an art gallery with the Mona Lisa under your arm. With this acquisition you are at once transported into the inner circle of shoe connoisseurs and cognoscenti. One can only imagine that you have inherited them.
 The overwhelming beauty of these boots is to be found in their absolute correctness. By this I mean that they are not a copy of something, or a quotation, or a “version”, or some clever shoemakers fantasy; no, these are the thing itself, the original, the authentic article, made at a time when there was little discussion wasted on style and certainly little but disdain for fashion. There were one or two choices for a gentleman’s boot of this type and that is what you had made, and you did so with the absolute certainty that it was “correct”, and therefore, in the very best of style.
The size: These are custom made so unmarked as to size.  By my precise measurements however, they are correct for a English 8,5E, an American 9,5D and a European 42,5D, for the mid-width foot.
Condition: Splendid original condition. To restart the clock on this beautiful old leather, the boots have been cleaned and “fed” in-house using a tested procedure requiring about three weeks. After cleaning the leather thoroughly and stripping it of any pooled or dried or accumulated polish, I apply many but sparing coats of a neutral English shoe cream. I favour Autoglym, a product I discovered 30 years ago and which I have used with great success to restore the leather seats of my vintage cars. To allow complete absorption, one applies several successive light coats with many days between coats. This restores the natural oils in the leather and if the leather is maintained properly from then on, it will last indefinitely. 
 
John Lobb
England, Circa 1940
Scotch Grain, Hob Nailed, Brogued-Cap-Toe, 9-Eyelet,
Navvy Cut Ankle Boot
avec Embouchoirs.
Euro 3600
La renommée de la marque John Lobb n’est plus à établir: elle est acquise depuis des générations pour la maison mère à Londres ainsi que pour la succursale ouverte à Paris au début du siècle dernier, et rachetée par Hermès en 1976.
La pointure – 8,5E, donnée en mesure anglaise, (9,5D US), – correspond à un 42,5D continental.
Elles sont dans un excellent état, ne présentant que quelques traces d’usure sur le talon original. Il n’y a aucun doute que, pour leur age, ces bottes n’ont été portées que peu de fois.

 

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