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*LÁSZLÓ VASS, HUNGARY, Neuwertig Bespoke "George" Boot: 43-43,5D

Article # DS02LV
 
Neuwertig Bespoke / Custom-Made
Officer's Dress George Boot
by
László Vass
Budapest
 
Euro 520

      The exceeding elegant quotation of the English Officer's Dress Boot, the George Boot, seen in this listing is immediately recognizable as being in outside the traditional Austro-Hungarian style, with its elongated and chiseled toe this boot defies the Central European emblematic tall and rounded toe box. A custom-made shoe, no doubt commissioned by a gentelman with English tastes and military influences. The George Boot, introduced in 1952 to replace the Wellington Boot and sometimes worn with spurs, is traditionally worn as a formal mess, dress and parade boot. With its higher-set eyelets and rearward set quarters the authentic military George Boot should not be confused with the similar but lower cut laced or buckled Chukka boot. See further English examples here under "Militaria". 

        The overall effect of the George Boot’s cut and lacing, the uninterrupted sweep of the vamp, the disappearance of the lacing under trousers, is one of sleekness and elegance and as highly recommended for business wear (preferably without spurs) as it is for jeans.

      This version by Vass is an entirely hand made shoe, made to measure in Vass’s atelier, and in a quality of calfskin that has the sheen and surface of shell cordovan but the warmth and softness of the calfskin it is. One of the loveliest pices of leather I have seen recently. The sole is channeled and skived, and protected by an additional thin rubber "Topy" sole, removeable and replaceable, of course, for those who prefer a leather surface. The stacked heel is finished in a replaceable rubber cap. Please notice too the attention to finishing details, the "dove tail" at the back and the and set nails at the toe underneith. Pride in craftsmanship!

      Size: By my careful measurement using fixed-size lasts, I confirm this to be a Continental 43-43,5D (US 10 D) (UK 9 E), correct for a mid-width foot.
      Condition: Nearly new, appears to have been worn two or three times. Neuwertig. Boot trees not included.
      The rarity of this shoe in the after-market cannot be over emphasized. There are at best a few ready-made Vass shoes to be found at any time but no more than two or three custom-made shoe a year by this important shoemaker, and very few in this nearly new condition. One should not expect to encounter another pair, custom made, in this size, near new, of a purely English style from the Hungarian shoemaker. If  you are assembling a collection of custom shoes of the great bespoke shoemakers and lack one from László Vass's workrooms, this would be an excellent candidate to fill that position and a luxurious quotation of a very gentlemanly model.   
      The concentration of bespoke shoemakers in Vienna and Budapest in the last century, inheritors of the great traditions of the Dual Monarchy, the K. u. K. time, is remarkable. A few of the contemporary continental masters, but also some English and American, are represented in László Vass und Magda Molnár’s seminal book “Herrenschuhe handgearbeitet”, a book well know to shoe lovers or collectors. Still it is not within the scope of this excellent book to innumerate the late great masters whose days at the cobbler’s bench are ended but whose masterpieces are still remembered and even changing hands among collectors. In some cases these firms exist but the old masters whose name they bear now tread a more ethereal ground; George Cleverley immediately comes to mind. In Vienna, in the Singerstrasse, there was Bela Nagy, known for his most elegant and chiseled toe, and wooden nailing. I have it on the generous authority of my very knowledgeable Viennese client, Dr.R.R., who patronized him until Nagy retired in the late 1960, that Nagy’s clientele was taken over by the still thriving Georg Materna. The venerable firm of Scheer & Söhne is still very much in operation and the Senior Herr Scheer was still working when both Dr. R and I stopped in to the Scheer workrooms on different occasions last fall. Going further back, in the 1940s and 50s, there was, for one, the excellent firm of Schilhavy-Rosenzeig. Herrn Rosenzweig himself, I learned, remained active into the late 1960s, working from home in the Himmelpfortgasse. There were others, of course, the excellent Herr Reicher on the Kühnplatz, retired these 10 years, and yet others in Budapest. For the collector the hand work of these great craftsmen remains precious and is much sought after, not only for its extreme rarity but that it memorializes the quality (and variety of individual styles) of the best traditional Central European craftsmanship in this field.

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