*Antique EDWIN CLAPP “Ventilated” Spectator, Circa 1945: 44D (US 10.5D)
Size: 44-44.5 [US.10.5-11] [UK 9.5-10}
Styles: Brogues, Collectors Shoes/Object d'Art, Oxfords, Spectators
Edwin Clapp & Son
East Weymouth, Mass
Important Antique Historical
Ventilated, Suede, Full Brogue Oxford
This excellent Ventilated Suede/Mesh combination Spectator can be dated by it relatively rounded toe to middle of the 20th century. Practically speaking, this spectator is among the last of its kind, a hand-lasted and hand-welted masterpiece, made by one of the earliest American shoe making firms, the Edwin Clapp firm of East Weymouth Mass.
Clapp began in operations as a textile mill in the first quarter of the 19th century, provided uniforms during Civil War. After surviving a catastrophic fire and a subsequent bankruptcy Clapp transformed itself in the middle of the century into a shoemaking operation and remained in operation, to my knowledge, until at least 1969. For much of the early 20th century, the Clapp shoe was synonymous with luxury and considered the panicle of the shoemaker’s craft. Their products were favoured by musicians and other celebrities, businessmen, and well dressed men of leisure. Jelly Roll Morton, speaking of jazz and turn of the century life in New Orleans, remarked in a 1938 recording now preserved in the Library of Congress, “I didn’t rest until I got myself a Stetson hat and a pair of Edwin Clapp shoes”. Clapp sold its products through regular trade channels but also operated two retail stores of their own in New York.
Few shoes in this website or anywhere compare to this elegant historical tour-de-force, either for hand-craftsmanship, for sheer beauty and certainly not for rarity.
Auch wenn wir vom Jazz sprechen, vom Leben in New Orleans um die Jahrhundertwende, soll der grosse Jelly Roll Morton (aufgezeichnet 1938 in der Library of Congress) folgendes gesagt haben: “Ich habe nicht geruht, bis ich endlich einen Stetson und ein Paar Clapp-Schuhe mein eigen nennen konnte!” Clapp verkaufte seine Schuhe durch regulären Handel, hatte jedoch auch zwei eigene Grosshandel-Läden in New York.
Size Details:US 10.5D........UK 9.5E.......European 44D. for the medium width foot.
The replacement soles and contemporary "Cat's Paw" heels show modest wear. The tops are like new, "neuwertig". These are a wearable museum piece, a collector's item of the highest order.