*MAURICE L. ROTHSCHILD Special Order Oxford, Circa 1950: 45-46 Narrow
Size: 45-45.5 [US.11.5] [UK 10.5], 46-46.5 [US12-12.5] [UK 11-11.5]
Styles: Brogues, Custom-Bespoke-Maas, Oxfords
6-Eyelet Full Brogue Oxford
Made in England
Maurice L. Rothschild
This is a bespoke quality, bench made shoe produced by an unknown English master workshop for the premiere Chicago retailer of the first half of the 20th century, the Maurice L. Rothschild emporium. This is a hand-sewn shoe, full channeled and skived and is in the firs category of had work in every detail. A wearable collector’s item trailing clouds of 20th century history.
Condition: soles original and lightly worn; heels renewed with McAffee style dovetail inset heels and unworn since.
Size: Marked 12 Narrow, but suitable for 45 or 46 Narrow.
Maurice L. Rothschild came to Chicago from Germany as a young man in the early 1880s. After opening stores in Kansas and Minneapolis in 1903 he eventually succeeded in his long held ambition to open a store on Chicago’s principal shopping street, state Street. He secured a 99 year lease on the property at 300 South State Street, in Chicago where the MauriceL.RothschildBuilding still stands. This important example of ChicagoSchool architecture was designed Holabird & Roche and housed Rothschild’s department store for more than half a century.
Another Rothschild, Abraham Rothschild had already established himself on State Street in 1895, in a location, coincidently enough, immediately across from Maurice’s new location. Abraham committed suicide in 1902 and his widow married Maurice three years later. There is no truth to the rumor that is was to preserve the use of her old stationary.
Rothschild’s perseverance in sourcing the finest goods from home or abroad for his wealthy clientele -this excellent pair of shoes is a good example, imported from England at a time when very few such imports were available anywhere in America- resulted in great success for his Chicago venture and at his death in 1942, the former dry goods clerk left an estate worth $17 million. The firm closed their State Street location in 1971 and leased space to other retail stores and to the Marshall Law School which today owns the building.
When we talk about the classic shoes of the 20th century, we mean this shoe and others like it. Modern copies can certainly be suitable but no modern shoe can quite duplicate the aura that emanates from this treasure. Be it colour, patina, texture, fineness of detail or the convergence of all these, something immediately trumpets the unmistakable authenticity of these shoes. You are wearing a piece of American history.