A Fine Man Once Said:

"Part of the 10 million I spent on gambling, part of it on booze, and part of it on women. The rest I spent foolishly."

- George Raft





Sunday, October 2, 2011

Vintage Lloyd Jennings: The Joys of Renovateur




Edward Green's original specifications for the Twickenham model,
commissioned by Paul Stuart in 1985.

I recently came across another pair of Twickenhams in a dark brown calf leather but otherwise identical to the pair that I re-crafted at B. Nelson's earlier this year (see here and here). When I found them, the shoes were caked in a layer of dust and grime, and, in addition to some significant creasing, the leather was very dry.



On the other hand, while there was typical scuffing and scratching that one would expect to find on a pair of shoes in this condition, the leather didn't appear to be cracked anywhere - basically, there wasn't anything that a good cleaning and a leather conditioner bath wouldn't work wonders on.







The shoes are stamped for Lloyd Jennings, which to my understanding was a shoemaker of some distinction with premises on Old Bond Street - apparently comparable to John Lobb, but I have no firsthand knowledge of this (but would love to hear more if anyone has any additional information on the company).






The shoes also have the following handwritten information in each shoe: '"446/3" on one line, followed by "136470" on the second line," followed by "9.E" on the last line. The numbering is fading, so I'm not entirely sure if those numbers are accurate. But this shoe is clearly modeled on Edward Green's Twickenham, which I have also seen referred to as the Kingston model in Volume III of The World of High-End Men's Shoes by Men's Ex.

I've yet to see this model produced by any other English company, so while I'm not entirely sure, it would seem that these could very well be another pretty old pair of Edward Green shoes. Regardless of the provenance of the shoes, this particular pair appear to have been well-made.

The heels and the soles appear to be original and were in surprisingly good condition, considering how the uppers looked. I didn't think a resole/recraft was necessary in this case since I (1) already have a lovely pair of Twickenhams in antique chestnut; and (2) these were just a bit snug on my feet (although a stretching would probably set this right).

So with that in mind, I decided to see just how much these might benefit from a basic cleaning with warm water, followed by a liberal application of Saphyr's Renovateur leather conditioner - I have become an avid Renovateur adherent, to the point where the conditioner is basically all I have been using on my shoes lately.

I began by cleaning the shoes with a brush to remove any particles that may have been lodged anywhere along the uppers. I then dampened  an old cloth with room-temperature water, and wiped off as much of the dust, dirt, and stains as possible. I also used a toothbrush to try and clean between the uppers and the welt. Here are some photos with the left shoe still in soiled condition and after the right shoe had been cleaned/brushed/wiped:




A before-and-after contrast between the cleaned shoe versus the original condition. As you can see, the cleaned shoe already looks much better. There is still some scuffing to the shoe, and there is still substantive creasing. However, the Renovateur is applied with the express purpose of reducing the blemishes and creasing to the leather. Here's how the cleaned shoe looks after the Renovateur has been rubbed into the calf leather using a rag/cloth:






As you can see, the leather looks much better. While there is still evidence of some nicks and scratches, the overall tone of the shoe looks much healthier and vibrant. There is some darkness where the conditioner has sunk deeper into the leather via the creasing and scuffing, but I find that this discoloration generally disappears within 16-24 hours after application. Generally, the creasing will dissipate, to some extent, within 24 hours as well. Here are both shoes after cleaning and the application of the leather conditioner:







And finally, here are the shoes in natural light after another round of conditioner was applied 24 hours earlier:









Vintage Lloyd Jennings Saddle Shoes.








6 comments:

  1. What a lovely pair of shoes those turned into. I'll need to track down and purchase the product your mention in this post.

    Best Regards,

    Ulrich von B.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ashley Lloyd-Jennings shoes first started shop by this name in Neal Street in Covent Garden. He and his partner Jeremy Hackett then bought a shop in Bond Street. If my memory serves me correct it was at number 7 which was also the entrance for The famous Embassy Club. I used to be friends with them & remember the Bond St. shop opening... in fact I remember being there the night before it actually opened. They had fabulous shoes and I distinctly remember Terrence Stamp calling in to purchase some shoes!

    I believe Ashley was a fan of George Cleverly. I also remember they used to have some shoes made by a company called Alden in the US, In fact I still have three pairs although my feel have gotten a bit bigger since the late 70's and it annoys me that I cannot wear them any more! Ah yes... those were the days! In fact I still have a load of their shoe trees and I have just come across some of their shoe bags - hence I was googling the name and came across this site!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi again... I have just found a Lloyd-Jennings receipt for October 1981 and I bought two pairs of shoe trees for £10.00 a pair in the sale. The normal price of them was£15.00.

    If I had an email address I could photocopy it for you :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Kevin,
    Once again, many thanks for the colorful personal anecdotes (here and on StyleForum)regarding Lloyd-Jennings and Hackett! Always wonderful to hear a little bit about some of the history behind the shoes that I've collected.

    I provided my email address via Personal Message at SF - I'd definitely love to see some pics of the recept, shoe trees, shoe bags, and the shoes as well! (I know, I'm getting greedy :-))

    Regards,
    Dan (An Uptown Dandy)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I remember Ashley well - c.1980, as a university student with no money, I lusted after the shoes in his Neal Street (Covent Garden) shop, and had nice chats with him; he was always charming. To my chagrin, the shop closed before I could afford to buy anything. I didn't know he and Jeremy had premises in Bond Street. My next contact with them was in the original Hackett shop in New King's Road, c.1982, very near where I then lived. I'm fairly sure Ashley had unsold Lloyd Jennings stock there, as well as other storeroom remnants from firms such as Edward Green, whom he first taight me about (I hadn't realised EG made Wildsmith's shoes, which I adored - I still have a lovely pair of half-brogues). I bought a nice pair of Green mocassins branded, I think, 'Peel' from Ashley - they may still be lying around somewhere. Ashley got me onto Alden and shell cordovan - I still have a sturdy Norwegianish Derby and a Brooks Brothers loafer (made by Alden, I think). This pair you've so lovingly and beautifully restored definitely has Ashley's touch about the design! Best wishes, Nick

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for the post Nick! Yet another fond recollection of early Lloyd-Jennings/Hackett collaboration. The pair must have left quite a favorable impression on their neighbors and customers based on the warm memories people like you have been kind enough to share here.
    Thanks again,
    Dan

    ReplyDelete