*Vintage SANDERS, Calfskin & Antelope Officer’s Wellington Boots & Spurs: 43-43.5E(US 10E)
Size: 43-43.5 [US. 10] [UK 9]
Styles: Boots/Stiefel, Collectors Shoes/Object d'Art, Custom-Bespoke-Maas, Evening/Formal, Exotic Leathers, Militaria, Wellington Boots
Army Officer’s Dress Wellington Boot
Antelope over Calfskin
Dated June 1959
Sanders & Sanders
The Wellington boot dates from the early 19th century and is based upon the 18th century Hessian boots. It was popularized by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington who instructed his shoemaker, Hoby of St. James’ Street, London, to modify the 18th century Hessian boot by removing the trim, cutting it more closely to the leg and ending it at mid-calf. With a semi-pointed toe and low stacked heel, it was an ideal cavalry boot, durable and protective in battle and yet comfortable out of the saddle. The Wellington boot quickly became a standard officers boot for both uniform and evening dress, and soon became fashionable among the British aristocracy as well.
This particular boot, made to military specifications by Sanders, come at a time when the George Boot was slowly replacing the Wellington for formal wear, thus it can be said that this boot is among the last to be produced, except by special order. Moreover, the present pair is doubly remarkable for its use of two contrasting leathers. Antelope is as rare today as it was then; in my entire career, I have seen only two Wellington Boots employing Antelope leather that were not custom-made. In fact, this boot may well have been a special order, employing hides provide by the gentleman-officer for whom these boots were custom made, a souvenir from shooting game in Africa.
Finally, it would be fair to say this is an extremely rare item, something for the collector but eminently wearable for formal or casual dress, an elegant design, handsome worn under or over trousers. The hand-forged spurs (provided) pull out of the heel-jacks easily, for storage or those rare occasions when spurs are not called for (although I cannot immediately think of when that would be).
History of the firm: Sanders & Sanders (formerly Sanders) was established with 5 workers in 1873 by brothers William and Thomas Sanders of Rushden, Northamptonshire. By 1912, by then with 70 workers and the new Goodyear Welting machine, Sanders became a major supplier of boots and shoes to the military, especially so with the advent of war in 1914. By the end of hostilities, Sanders has established themselves as a premiere military supplier and had become synonymous with military footwear. That reputation contines, even to this day.
Size Details:By my precise measurement using shoemaker's lasts of known size: UK 9F.....US 10E.....Continental 43-43.5E, for the medium to somewhat wider width foot.
Very modest wear to original soles and heel. Tops showing the usual creasing and checking but nothing of any concern. These boots have seen many a military parade polishing and do take to polish beautifully.