*Neuwertig – László VASS, Full Brogue Derby, Budapester: 42.5D
Full Medallion Wing Tip Derby Brogue
The shoe in this listing is immediately recognizable as being in the traditional Austro-Hungarian style, what we have come to call the Budapester, with its emblematic tall and rounded toe box. It is a largely hand made shoe, made in Vass’s atelier, a Full Wing-Tip Derby Brogue in finest calf. The outer sewing of the sole is channeled and skived, and the combination heel with replaceable rubber inset is hand nailed with grouped brass nails in the old fashion.
Some history: The concentration of bespoke shoemakers in Vienna and Budapest in the last century, inheritors of the great traditions of the Dual Monarchy, the K. u. K. time, is remarkable. More than anywhere else in Europe, the fine craft of hand- and bespoke-shoemaking appears to be thriving in Hungary. Apart from the most famous names, László Vass and Heinrich Dinkelacker, many other excellent craftsmen, among them Koronya, Michael Kors, Ildikó Gál, and Tibor Sallay. A few of the contemporary continental masters and also some English and American, are represented in László Vass und Magda Molnár’s seminal book “Herrenschuhe handgearbeitet”, a book well know to shoe lovers and collectors. Still it is not within the scope of this excellent book to innumerate the late great masters whose days at the cobbler’s bench are ended but whose masterpieces are still remembered and are even changing hands among collectors. In some cases these firms exist but the old masters whose name they bear now tread a more ethereal ground; George Cleverley immediately comes to mind. In Vienna, in the Singerstrasse, there was Bela Nagy, known for his most elegant and chiseled toe, and wooden nailing. I have it on the generous authority of my very knowledgeable Viennese client, Dr.R.R., who patronized him until Nagy retired in the late 1960, that Nagy’s clientele was taken over by the still thriving Georg Materna. The venerable firm of Scheer & Söhne is still very much in operation and the Senior Herr Scheer was still working when both Dr. R and I stopped in to the Scheer workrooms on different occasions last fall. Going further back, in the 1940s and 50s, there was, for one, the excellent firm of Schilhavy-Rosenzeig. Herrn Rosenzweig himself, I learned, remained active into the late 1960s, working from home in the Himmelpfortgasse. There were others, of course, the excellent Herr Reicher on the Kühnplatz, retired these 10 years, and yet others in Budapest. For the collector the hand work of these great craftsmen remains precious and is much sought after, not only for its extreme rarity but that it memorializes the quality (and variety of individual styles) of the best traditional Central European craftsmanship in this field.
Size Details:Continental 42.5D..... (US 9,5 D)..... (UK 8,5E), correct for a mid-width foot.
Superb condition, showing trivial wear, first slight rounding to the heel, consistent with having been worn a few times only. Soles too show slight wear.