*Neuwertig – Antique OSCARIA Gentleman’s Tan Felt SPATS, Circa 1920: 40-41.5 (US 7-8.5)(UK 6-7.5)
Size: 40-40.5 [US.7-7.5] [UK 6-6.5], 41-41.5 [US.8-8.5] [UK 7-7.5]
Styles: Boots/Stiefel, Collectors Shoes/Object d'Art, Evening/Formal, Suede/Wildleder
Gentlemen’s Tan Felt Spats
Spats (short for “splatterdash”) were worn by men in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. By the mid-1920 they had fallen out of fashion for both stylish and practical reasons.
Spats are made of white, grey or brown felt or other cloth and buttoned around the ankle. Their original purpose was to protect the wearer’s shoes and socks from the splatter of the mostly unpaved streets of the time. Even after their practical purpose was obviated by the replacement of horses by cars and the widespread paving of city streets with asphalt -city streets were simply much cleaner- gentlemen continued to wear them as a distinguishing feature of rank, until that too, was eroded by the ubiquity of spats worn by other classes. Finally, ever increasing informality, the morning coat replacing the frock coat and King George V, a fashion plate and arbiter of taste, himself abandoning spats, sounded the requiem to this charming but anachronistic article of Victorian dress. Today, we see spats worn in only the most formal circumstances, the grandest weddings, for instance, or at the Royal Enclosure at Ascot.
This pair was made in England for the American trade. It sold for the princely sum of $5 in the 1920s. Considering that the average male weekly wage in England in 1925 was about £5 and in New York, in that era, a months rent averaged $30, 1/100 of today’s prices, it is clear that spats were prohibitively priced.
Size Details:Adjustable between 40-41.5 (US 7-8.5)(UK 6-7.5)
Near new and in very fine, if not perfect, condition. Nor are these a modern reproduction. It is very unusual to find so fine a pair after almost 100 years and the few that do exist have almost always suffered moth infestation. This one is the finest original one I have ever seen. It is simply in collector’s condition. This listing is for the spats only, not the shoes or trees used to display them.