*Important HOWARD & FOSTER “Ventilated” Spade Sole SPECTATOR 1940: 42C (US 9C)
Size: 42-42.5 [US.9-9.5] [UK 8-8.5]
Styles: Brogues, Collectors Shoes/Object d'Art, Oxfords, Spectators
Howard & Foster
Spade Sole, Ventilated, Fiddle Vamp, Black on Black
“More Two-Tone Oxfords were sold this season than ever before“, announces the advertisement for a dapper pair of Spectators in the Sears Roebuck & Co. catalogue from the year 1928/29.
Certainly one of the most lovely spectators I have ever shown. Needless to say, beautifully made; hand-sewn welted spade soles over a steel shank. With “fiddle vamp” and black box calf over fine grain black nylon mesh.
Stylistically this shoe anticipates the elongated toe affected by today’s most modern designers without, I hasten to add, transgressing the bounds of classic proportion. The wider than usual rim of the welt shows off the hand sewing and the 7-Eyelet vamp adds to the stream-lined effect of the entire sculpture and distinguishes this masterpiece from even the very good offerings of the period. This is a shoes for the advanced collector, a wearable museum piece, most flattering to the foot, a splendid contrast to the fair-weather wardrobe and the pride of any collection.
The Howard & Foster Company, founded in the 19th century in Brockton Massachusetts was one of the most distinguished American shoemakers, specializing in the mid-20th century (but not exclusively) in golf shoes. To my knowledge, there are no sightings of the firm or their production past the 1960’s; another casualty to the influx of cheap imports that began in the 1960’s. They chose not to compromise quality or, like many other American shoemakers under duress, to become importers themselves. Howard & Foster’s largely hand-made products were naturally not competitive with the new imperatives of the market. The price of their pride was the dissolution of the firm.
In short, a handsome, traditional, and practical warm-weather shoe for the collector and a prize addition to the wardrobe. To recapitulate; one of the finest spectators ever shown in this website. It only remains that it be your size; there is only this one to be had.
Postage: US $14…Euro 6,90 innerhalb Deutschlands als versichertes Paket. Elsewhere in Europe, Euro 14,20 Sold without trees.
The heels of this generation, when rubber, were most often provided by the O’Sullivan Rubber Company. Humphrey O’Sullivan, a printer, came upon the idea of attaching rubber to the heels of his shoes for better traction in his print shop. In the late 19th century he patented the idea and started his firm. O’Sullivan’s supplied rubber heels to many shoe manufacturers and often provided heels imprinted with the Logos of their largest customers, like Nunn-Bush, Nettleton and, as in the case, the Fleur de Lis used by Howard & Foster.
Size Details:US 9C..... (UK 8D)....... (European 42C) for the somewhat narrower foot.
Superb! All original, showing little wear to soles or heels.