Of interest...

Do you know of a boot or shoe related event that might be of interest? Hear Ye, Hear Ye...
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Re: Of interest...

#351 Post by das » Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:58 am

DW,

I don’t see any "contradiction" to the standard interpretation: heels were not commonly known/worn in Western Europe before the later 16thc. I have to agree with June that Persian hook "heels" are only heels in the superficial sense--they are unique to their region of cultural origin (with maybe some inroads into Poland/Polish adaptions, e.g. the "Polony" heel of the 17thc), made/shaped entirely unlike Western European heels (stacked leather or covered wood) post 16thc, and I, too, question any real direct connection without more evidence, images, examples, etc. The 15thc rider by Pisanello, June insists shows a metal "heel", for riding, presumably not walking.

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Re: Of interest...

#352 Post by dw » Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:05 pm

das » Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:58 am wrote:DW,

I don’t see any "contradiction" to the standard interpretation: heels were not commonly known/worn in Western Europe before the later 16thc. I have to agree with June that Persian hook "heels" are only heels in the superficial sense--they are unique to their region of cultural origin (with maybe some inroads into Poland/Polish adaptions, e.g. the "Polony" heel of the 17thc), made/shaped entirely unlike Western European heels (stacked leather or covered wood) post 16thc, and I, too, question any real direct connection without more evidence, images, examples, etc. The 15thc rider by Pisanello, June insists shows a metal "heel", for riding, presumably not walking.
Al,

Well, is the Persian hook heel a "heel" or isn't it? She seems to imply that it was worn like a Western heel...walked around on.

We seem to return to this question again and again (from the earliest days of the CC) but for me, I have a hard time saying it's not a heel, if it looks like a heel and is worn/used like a heel.

Perhaps European heels did not draw any inspiration from Persian heels (although I don't know how anyone can say that definitively) but if it is a heel...again, if it looks like and functions like a heel...and it is earlier than late 16th century, then to me there is evidence of heels on footwear in the 14th century. Country or region of origin not withstanding. Materials comprising the heel notwithstanding.

Which seems to contradict everything I have been led to believe.

:greatnotion:
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Re: Of interest...

#353 Post by das » Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:26 am

DW,

The Persian hook heel is a Persian hook heel--none like that (structurally or in shape) in Western Europe. Look at Goubtiz, 'Stepping Through Time', on late Medieval proto-heels--single lifts added to new shoes to double-layer the heel end for added durability. To me those are more likely candidates for our "ancestral" heel, at least the stacked leather ones. I think we risk being bogged-down in semantics on this. Still, we do not see elevated heels commonly/widely in W. Europe until late 16thc., and none that show any close affinity for the Persian type (except Poland?). Must be cautious playing connect-the-dots, identifying "firsts" (e.g. first things so far that look like heels), implying cultural borrowings, etc. It's a lot like the old charts of progressive human evolution, monkey, cave man, to modern Man. The fossil record and new discoveries show it was much more complicated, that's all. New stuff is being found all the time, history is only written in "pencil". One day a cache of 14th-15thc European shoes might be unearthed all with heels. But until then....

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Re: Of interest...

#354 Post by dw » Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:16 am

Al,

OK. Thanks.

I won't pursue this any longer. Except to say that I agree 100% about semantics...as ignorant as I am about these things I'm starting to suspect that the origin of heels may be mostly a matter of semantics.

Now to go back and edit the data in my wet-ware hard drive. I wish it were that easy to edit all the things I've said over the years, however--I was even presumptuous enough to chide the history channel about heels in the Vikings series. A little knowledge is dangerous.

:blush:
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Re: Of interest...

#355 Post by das » Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:43 am

DW,

OK. BTW there's a lot more history faux pas to chide History Channel about than Vikings wearing heels :wink_smile:

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Re: Of interest...

#356 Post by proxy_posting » Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:37 am

Apropos to this discussion, here is a painting from the 15th century that clearly shows a heel (maybe even a stacked leather heel). Presumably culturally western (St. Eustace?) and roughly two centuries before what common wisdom has as the genesis for heels on footwear.
The-Vision-of-Saint-Eustace.jpg
15th century heels

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Re: Of interest...

#357 Post by das » Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:08 am

That is the Pisanello painting mentioned above. June's studied it in person and swears the "heel" is shiny metal, not stacked leather.

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Re: Of interest...

#358 Post by dw » Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:33 am

Thanks :thumb:

BTW...where above is that painting mentioned? What page / date?
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Re: Of interest...

#359 Post by das » Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:11 am

In fact here's June's comment about the metallic heel:

"Should have made it clear, as have spent a long time, several times, with nose as close as I could without being shouted at, staring at actual oil painting: the heel is gold colour immediately adjacent to sole, then same thickness red, then same thickness gold again on bottom bit, [highlight=]same paint as spur, hence assumption of metal[/highlight]."
June

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Re: Of interest...

#360 Post by dw » Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:21 pm

You know the thing that strikes me about all this...and the painting only solidifies my, admittedly amateur, conclusion/assumptions...is that it's a heel. It's on a shoe. In the same location heels are expected. It seems obvious it was made to walk on, at least incidentally--going from the portico to the stable, for example.

What it's made of is almost beside the point.

It very well could have been seen by some westerner...some Marco Polo type coming back from the Far East and been described to a shoemaker and, at the least, been the inspiration for leather heels.

Even the painting could have been the inspiration. I look at it and I see stacked leather. Some inspired ignoramus could have seen the painting when it was relatively new and thought the same thing.

That's how lots of great inventions and innovations begin--ignorant misguided serendipity.
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Re: Of interest...

#361 Post by cwsaddler » Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:22 pm

Congrats to DW for receiving a Will Rogers Cowboy Award from the Academy of Western Artists. :beers:

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Re: Of interest...

#362 Post by dw » Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:37 pm

cwsaddler » Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:22 pm wrote:Congrats to DW for receiving a Will Rogers Cowboy Award from the Academy of Western Artists. :beers:

Thank you, Jim.

:thumb:
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Re: Of interest...

#363 Post by paul » Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:10 pm

If I may join you boys. :beers: Congratulations DW. Well deserved!

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Re: Of interest...

#364 Post by dw » Mon Jun 29, 2015 7:59 pm

Of course you can join us...have a pint--Porter or IPA?

:beers:

Thank you...but you knew about this back in April.
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Re: Of interest...

#365 Post by paul » Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:11 pm

Truth be told, I'd rather a glass of that scotch we had in Bend!

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Re: Of interest...

#366 Post by homeboy » Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:33 pm

Our Beloved D.W. Frommer, II has been recognized in the September issue of Shop Talk! Nice little article with pictures worth reading! :clap:

Congrats Dee-Dubb!
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Re: Of interest...

#367 Post by dw » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:13 am

homeboy » Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:33 pm wrote:Our Beloved D.W. Frommer, II has been recognized in the September issue of Shop Talk! Nice little article with pictures worth reading! :clap:

Congrats Dee-Dubb!
Thanks for mentioning that, Jake.

The article is basically just a follow-on to the AWA Will Rogers Award.

It's a pretty good interview and story, though. I can't count the number of interviews I've had done over the years that didn't get it right--as if the reporter was making things up.

A couple of months ago, the local newspaper did a story about me getting the WR award and on the first page of the section printed a photo of the 1851 John Nelson Hefford boots (in the Gallery...26 Feb, 2015) and attributed them to me. They did a very brief correction on some obscure back page, but...

:sigh:
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Re: Of interest...

#368 Post by dmcharg » Thu Sep 24, 2015 9:14 pm

G'day Everyone,
Last month a freelance journalist visited my workroom and spent about 6hrs filming. This got put together into a 5 min piece for the BBC. Only scratches the surface, of course, and it unfortunately fell between jobs so I didn't have a great deal of variety in tasks to do (starting a pair of winter shoes for myself. K'roo, wool felt, K'roo), but she did well with what she had.

Here's the link: http://bbc.in/1LkS3hF

Cheers
Duncan

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Re: Of interest...

#369 Post by dw » Mon Sep 28, 2015 9:22 am

Duncan,

Nice! Good on you, mate.

Nice to put a face and a voice to your postings.
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Re: Of interest...

#370 Post by homeboy » Fri Oct 02, 2015 6:35 am

Hey Duncan,

I really enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing!

Take care.....Jake

P.S. yeah......now we know what your look like; Al said you was an ugly feller! You ain't bad lookin'! :beers:
What one man has done....another can do.

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Re: Of interest...

#371 Post by dmcharg » Sun Oct 04, 2015 9:45 pm

Thanks DW and Jake,
My wife, Sandra, thinks I'm pretty good looking too. So far I've got an order from this. Happy.
Cheers
Duncan.

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Re: Of interest...

#372 Post by Bootmaker1 » Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:51 pm

A smell that lasted a life time!

As a young teenager I got my first summer job working in a boot and shoe factory H.H. Brown Shoe Co. in Worcester Massachusetts. Brown Shoe had a large military contract to make black combat boots. My job was to ink and polish the completed boots. I earned three cents for each pair I inked and polished. The old brick building was built shortly after the Civil War. It was almost unbearably hot with no air conditioning. I was not senior enough to be near a window. At the end of the day, I went home a few pounds lighter covered with ink and polish. Some of the other boys I started work with quit within a few days. I not only did not quit but I was back again the next two summers. Besides the three cents per pair of boots there was another compelling reason for staying – THE SMELL.

It was the smell - the wonderful smell of tanned leather. My finishing machine was on the second floor directly over the clicking room. The sweet perfume smell of cowhide permeated the air around me. Every chance I had I went down to the clicking room to touch the leather and pick up scrapes to bring home.

The decades have taken me far away from Brown Shoe to distant shores, under the oceans, shoe repair shops, saddle shops, Hollywood, boot repair shops, classrooms, and finally my own custom cowboy boot shop. Each time I open up my leather store room door to select boot leathers, that wonderful earthy smell of the leather brings back the memories of my youth and the many people I have met along my life- long love affair with leather.

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Re: Of interest...

#373 Post by paul » Fri Dec 18, 2015 5:58 am

Hello B1, and welcome!
Evocatively written. I feel ya!
I read once that whether one recognized the smell of leather was a test they were doing for early onset Alzheimer's.
I enjoyed telling people that when they would walk in off the street and comment on the smell of my shop.
Paul

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Re: Of interest...

#374 Post by dw » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:22 pm

Congratulations to Paul Krause for winning the Acadamy of Western Artists Will Rodger's Bootmaker of the Year award for 2016. :goldstar:

Very appropriate and a deserving maker.

I hope it brings you fame and recognition and lots of orders, Paul.
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Re: Of interest...

#375 Post by homeboy » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:34 pm

CONGRATULATIONS Paul! Good for YOU!

I agree......Well Deserved!

:tiphat:
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