*Bespoke FRANK BROTHERS Formal Opera-Court Slipper: 42.5D


  • Frank Brothers
    488 Fifth Avenue, New York City
    “Since 1865”
    Bespoke Opera Pump – Court Slipper
    Circa 1950

    Frank Brothers, exclusive haberdashers and designers of footwear for both men and women, was established in 1865. Their shoes were sold exclusively at Frank Brothers shoe shops, their main store at 488 Fifth Avenue in New York, and at a handful of exclusive men’s clothing stores such as Garfinckel’s, all of which have passed into history. This is a fine example of their “modernized” last, still a spade sole, a throw-back to an earlier era but a bit more stream-lined. The hand-written serial numbers and other hieroglyphics hand written in the cartouche inside the shoes indicate that it was made to order. This is corroborated by the hand sewn, double needle lock stitch of the welt, something never seen in a modern pump. Indeed modern pumps, to preserve the low profile, are rarely even Goodyear welted. This shoe then is a piece of history, made for a class of extremely privileged New York gentlemen of the mid-century.

    Size Details:

    By my measurements a US 9.5D…..UK 8.5E….Continental 42.5D, for the medium width foot.

    Shoe Condition:

    On the negative side, this shoe is a ruin. A noble ruin, to be sure, but a ruin nevertheless. The structure is sound, perfectly solid. The soles and heels lightly worn and, the interior in excellent condition, even for a modern shoe. But the leather of the uppers has any number of small cracks –nothing that will go through any time soon, but visible. Moreover the bows on both shoes are fraying and the repairs to them are visible too. In short, this is a tattered pair of shoes that you might prize for its shabby chic but your mother-in-law would not approve. The advantage of such a shoe is exactly that it shows its age; no one can say that you went out and hurriedly bought a pair for the party. One could imagine that you commissioned it decades ago and continue to wear it out of attachment or, better still, that you inherited it from a relative of enormously good taste. I leave to you the mystery you weave. Your secret is safe with me.

Article Number: 146FB Category:

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