…..NIKOLAUS TUCZEK….. *Rare, Antique HIGH BUTTON SHOES (Boots) by the Most Important Master of the 20th Century: US 9-9.5D (42-42.5D)


  • An Important Historical
    Custom Made
    Cap-Toe, High Button Shoes (Boots)
    Circa 1910
    by the great master bespoke shoemaker
    Nikolaus Tuczek
    Established 1853
    Euro 3600

    The late, lamented firm of Tuczek of #17 Clifford Street, W1, bespoke society shoemaker, is a legend in the trade among historians and collectors. The importance of this master is only confirmed by the fact that George Cleverley, considered by some to be the finest shoemaker of the late 20th century, began his career with Nikolaus Tuczek in 1920 and remained with the firm 38 years before opening his own workshop. Tuczek’s designs are exceptionally sleek and most often feature his characteristic chiseled toe and elastic side gussets. It can be conjectured that this was Tuczek’s legacy as there is little to compare with the dramatic lasting, the intricate detailing, and the painstaking construction of the Tuczek shoe. But finally it is the overall effect of the design, the harmony of decoration and sculptural form that distinguishes this shoemaker. There is very little to be found from the last half century that possesses the stylistic boldness or charm of this present pair. Shown here for the pleasure of my collector clients.

    The history of the firm is well documented elsewhere but these dates of operation with addresses will be useful in dating shoes.

    24 Arthur Street, Oxford Street 1853-1855
    24 High Street, St Giles’s 1856-1861
    109 New Bond Street 1862-1886
    39 Old Bond Street 1887-1903
    15B Clifford Street 1904-1937
    17 Clifford Street 1938-1966
    21 Jermyn Street 1966-1969

    The company was taken over by John Lobb around 1970. In a phone call Mr. John Hunter Lobb recalled to me that “We took over the remnant of Tuczek in 1968.” Lobb has an unbrogued model called Elastic Sided with Plain Tuczek Style Elastic – (SS597) which, no doubt, they consider derivative of the great master’s style.

    The pair shown here is in remarkable condition for its age, over a century old. Certainly ideal for display or careful, very occasional wearing.  Finally, this is an advanced collector’s item, destined, sooner or later, for a museum.

    G. Bruce Boyer the author of Eminently Suitable (1990), quotes John Hlustik, who bought the Edward Green firm in 1982-3; “Just the other week a gentleman came into the shop for some new shoes. He was wearing a pair made by Tuczek in the early 1940s. They were so marvelous, I asked him if he would sell them to me…offered him $3,500. He refused, and I can’t say I blame him. After 50 years, they had an absolutely vintage classicism about them.” Remember this was $3500 in the 1980’s!

    It is flattering to have my texts, such as this, widely quoted by others in the internet but what is really needed is a scholarly study on the modern history of shoemaking, that is to say, 19th and 20th century shoemaking, the great houses, American as well as English and Continental, the many lamented masters never mentioned (understandably) in such as the Laszlo Vass book on contemporary shoemaking, Herrenschuhe Handgearbeitet. The 20th Century began with a myriad of shoemaking workshops, both factories and cottage industry that produced some breathtakingly beautiful tours-de-force of shoemaking. These masterpieces and the artists who made them, like Tuczek and his work, should be studied, the few remaining shoes photographed and memorialized. Where is the passionate, young and scholarly aficionado do this? P

    Size Details:

    Bespoke, thus unmarked for size but by my practiced measurements: UK 8-8.5E...…US 9-9.5D.....Continental 42-42.5D, for the medium width foot.

    Shoe Condition:

    Sold without trees, but a pair of antique 3-part trees may be available, upon request.

Article Number: BJ-NT-2 Categories: ,

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