Important Historical Bespoke CODNER, COOMBS & DOBBIE, Ltd. Alligator Derby:44-44,5D


SOLD to Monsieur Y. R., Lessines, Belgium
  • Codner, Coombs & Dobbie, Ltd.
    21 Jermyn Street, St. James’s, S.W.1
    Vintage Bespoke Alligator 3-Eyelet Derby (Blucher)
    Circa 1970

    There is little lore to impart about this once venerable and highly exclusive Jermyn Street shoemaker whose clientele included, among many luminaries of the time, Henry Ford, Enrico Caruso and Stanley Baldwin, when Baldwin was still England’s Prime Minister. Codner, Coombs & Dobbie are cited in the Strand Magazine of 1947 for their superior riding boots and were know in America as early as 1929, when they were mentioned in an issue of the then high-society New Yorker Magazine from that year. It is significant that the great Tuczek had merged with Codner in the 1960s. Finally and sadly, the principals were convened on Oct 22, 1971 and the firm was voluntarily wound up on that occasion, thus ending an almost century long tradition.

    Examples of Codner, Coombs & Dobbie’s work are almost unknow today; apart from the present shoe, the last pair to appear for many years was a fine example of a combination suede and smooth leather slipper, offered recently at $999, see website:

    The present pair of Custom-Made Black Alligator Bluchers must be recognized not only as an extreme rarity, far more rare than even the bespoke products of the most famous English shoemakers, but an example of the highest level of craftsmanship and a breathtaking esthetic achievement. Working with exotic leathers -lizard, crocodile, alligator and so forth- requires a second level of craftsmanship above dexterity and the merely structural. The artful and symmetrical arrangement of complex reptile skins is very much more demanding than laying out and cutting relatively uniform calfskin. The earmark of badly made imports and what disqualifies them immediately, even when seen from a distance, is the haphazard arrangement of skins intended to economize on materials rather than to delight and astonish, as do these tastefully conceived, thoughtfully laid out and perfectly matching shoes by Codner, Coombs & Dobbie. This masterpiece defines luxury and the ideal of quiet elegance. It is an eminently wearable treasure replete with history and destined for the advanced collector.

    Date: 1960-70s. These are fully leather lined and have a heel treatment typical of the 1960s-1970s. Of course, as the firm ended in 1971, we have an upper limit on the date.

    Size Details:

    UK 9.5-10E……US 10.5-11D…….Continental 44-44,5D, for the medium width foot.

    Shoe Condition:

    UK 9.5-10E……US 10.5-11D…….Continental 44-44,5D, for the medium width foot.


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