*Important Historical Bespoke CODNER, COOMBS & DOBBIE, Ltd. Cap-Toe Oxford: 42.5D (UK 8.5E)
Size: 42-42.5 [US.9-9.5] [UK 8-8.5]
Styles: Collectors Shoes/Object d'Art, Oxfords
Codner, Coombs & Dobbie, Ltd.
21 Jermyn Street, St. James’s, S.W.1
Vintage Bespoke Cap-Toe Oxford
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 unknown today; apart from the present shoe and a pair sold in these pages some years ago, 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 Cap-Toe Oxfords 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 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. Notice too the beveled waist and the rounded instep, formed as it is by hand over a stable shank. This is old fashioned custom shoe-making personified. There is no more refined or classic style than that of this shoe. If you are going to wear a black oxford -and few shoes are more versatile and useful- why not wear one of this irreproachable pedigree!
Size Details:As a custom made shoe, no size is given but by my precise measurements: UK 8.5E……US 9.5D…….Continental 42.5D, for the medium width foot.
Superb! Indeed startling, for a shoe this vintage or any vintage. It appears to have been seldom worn and is, in any case, almost new, trivial wear to bottoms and none to tops. Black and white photos provided to show greater detail. Sold without trees, but ask for a correctly fitted pair, if you require them.