*GIEVE’S, Vintage BESPOKE Calfskin & Antelope Officer’s Wellington Boots: 43-43.5D (US 10D)


VENDU a Monsieur C. I., Sevran
  • Army Officer’s  Dress Wellington Boot
    Bespoke – Antelope over Calfskin
    GIEVE’S & Co.
    Since 1785
    Gieves & Hawkes
    No 1 Savile Row, London
    Circa 1960
    Euro 1020

    The Wellington boot dates from the early 19th century and is based upon the 18th century Hessian boots.  It was popularized by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington who instructed his shoemaker, Hoby of St. James’ Street, London, to modify the 18th century Hessian boot by removing the trim, cutting it more closely to the leg and ending it at mid-calf.  With a semi-pointed toe and low stacked heel, it was an ideal cavalry boot, durable and protective in battle and yet comfortable out of the saddle. The Wellington boot quickly became a standard officers boot for both uniform and evening dress, and soon became fashionable among the British aristocracy as well.

    This is a bespoke/custom made boot actually made by Gieve’s before its acquisition of Hawkes in 1974 and the move to its flagship store on Savile Row, to become known as Gieves & Hawkes.   Moreover, the present pair is doubly remarkable for its use of two contrasting leathers. Antelope is as rare today as it was then; in my entire career, I have seen only two Wellington Boots employing Antelope leather. It is very likely that the gentleman-officer for whom these boots were custom made provided the hide to Gieve’s himself, a souvenir from shooting game in Africa.

    Finally, it would be fair to say this is an extremely rare item, something for the collector but eminently wearable for formal or casual dress, an elegant design, handsome worn under or over trousers.

    History of the firm: The company was formed from two famous businesses: Gieves, founded in 1785 and Hawkes, founded in 1771. Gieves became a celebrated supplier of the British Royal Navy and Hawkes of the British Army. In 1974 Gieves acquired Hawkes, forming the present Gieves & Hawkes.

    No.1 Savile Row itself has a great history, passed into the possession of the Dukes of Devonshire in 1756, providing a fine London address close to the Court of St. James’s. It was home to the distinguished Royal Geographical Society from 1870. Hawkes, the most prestigious military and court tailors in London, purchased No. 1 in 1913, establishing Savile Row as an epicentre for fine tailoring. The House would go on to become synonymous with London style, dressing the wealthiest and most powerful of English society.

    In 1953 the House famously made Her Majesty the Queen’s boat cloak photographed by Cecil Beaton. Other British royals have been dressed by Gieves & Hawkes including Charles, Prince of Wales, the Queen’s father and grandfather, George VI and George V, as well as the royal Princes William and Harry. Over the years Gieves & Hawkes have tailored clothes for the royal houses of Denmark, Norway, Greece, Romania, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Jordan, Iraq, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand and Tonga as well as the Aga Khan. Today the House’s three Royal Warrants stand in recognition of unrivaled quality and service.

    Size Details:

    By my precise measurement using shoemaker's lasts of known size: UK 9E.....US 10D.....Continental 43-43.5D, for the medium width foot.

    Shoe Condition:

    Very modest wear to stacked and nailed cantilevered heels. Soles very lightly worn, now further protected with thin, non-slip Topy soles. Tops showing the usual creasing and checking but nothing of any concern. These boots have seen many a military parade polishing and do take to polish beautifully.

Article Number: 10LBSBLB Category:

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