*Vintage, Circa 1960, Bespoke PEAL & CO. Officer’s Field Boot: 41.5D (UK 7.5E) (US 8.5D)


  • Peal & Company
    2-Strap Officers Field Boot
    Custom Fitted Peal Trees
    Circa 1960

    Euro 2400

    The present shoe is from Peal’s last years of operation as a preeminent, independent custom shoemaker.

    In 1965 Peal closed their doors and sold their name to Brooks Brothers in final capitulation to market forces, the end of a 174 year history. The few early and actual Peal & Co. shoes to be found in the world today are truly on the highest bespoke level of workmanship with, not surprisingly, utilize a quality of leather reserved for custom-made shoes and are much sought-after by knowledgeable collectors. It is not enough to call this boot one-of-a-kind –every custom made shoe can be called that- because, in this case, the model itself is unusual; a 2-strap shaft, as distinct from the still rare but certainly more common 3-strap models. This boot comes with my highest recommendation. It is in every detail of form and construction, a cordwainer’s work of art. For dress, field, tramping, trekking or shooting, I can think of few to equal this boot.

    History of the firm: “Peal and Co were founded in 1565 and were the oldest-established and most successful makers in the world, employing up to 200 staff. The firm was established in Durham and moved to Derby in 1765, reaching London in 1791. In 1953 Peal bought their Oxford Street neighbours, Bartley and Son, inheriting their Boot and Fox emblem and moved to Wigmore Street in 1958. The business closed early in 1965, when the family decided that lack of family succession, a declining trade and shortage of skilled staff made closure their best option. The closure of Peal and Co. was very helpful to the remaining shoemakers in London including Foster and Son, who acquired two important assets, the Peals’s boot and fox emblem and Mr. Terry Moore, Peal’s master last maker. The old Peal lasts are still said to be in use by Foster & Son.

    Peal & Co. counted among their clients, luminaries from both sides of the Atlantic, among them (a much shortened list);

    Fred Astaire
    Ethel Barrymore, John Barrymore
    Humphrey Bogart & Mrs H Bogart (Lauren Bacall)
    Sir Charles Chaplin
    Gary Cooper
    Mrs Walt Disney
    Sir Douglas Fairbanks
    Henry Fonda
    James Garner
    Cary Grant
    Rex Harrison
    Boris Karloff
    Steve McQueen
    John Mills
    David Niven
    Sir Laurence Olivier
    Mary Pickford
    Mrs Rudolph Valentino
    Guy de Rothschild
    Henry Ford II & Mrs H Ford
    Benny Goodman
    Dean Martin,
    Jehudi Menuhin
    Richard Avedon
    Lady Violet Bonham Carter nee Asquith, 40 Gloucester Sq.,
    Mrs Neville Chamberlain
    Rt Hon Sir Anthony Eden KG
    Dean G Acheson, US Secretary of State
    Barry Goldwater, Senator
    Edward L Kennedy
    John F Kennedy
    Mr. Marx of Berlin c/o Dr W Smith, West Lodge, West End Lane, Hampstead
    Col. Elliott Roosevelt, son of FDR & Eleanor
    Theodore Roosevelt
    HM King Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor
    Hon F Bowes-Lyon, brother of the Queen Mother
    F J Bowes-Lyon, Grenadier Guards
    Lady Rosemary Spencer Churchill
    Lord Louis Mountbatten
    Duke of Westminster
    Prince Aga Khan
    Princess Eugene of Belgium
    King of the Hellenes (Greece)
    Crown Princess of Greece
    Prince Nicholas of Greece
    Prince Peter of Greece
    Crown Prince Constantine of Greece
    Crown Princess of Japan
    King & Crown Prince of Norway
    Prince Christian of Schleswig Holstein
    Crown Prince of Sweden
    Queen Marie of Yugoslavia

    Size Details:

    a custom made shoe thus no size shown but by my precise measurements using shoemakers lasts of known standard size, a UK 7.5E….US 8.5D…..Continental 41.5D, for the medium width foot.

    Shoe Condition:

    All original soles and heels, very lightly worn, perhaps only once!, thus a superb example –very likely the best available example- of bespoke Peal workmanship.


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