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, September 23, 2012

Vintage Edward Green for Brooks Brothers' Peal & Co.: The Piccadilly Loafer


At some point in the 1960s, Brooks Brothers acquired the venerable British shoe-making company Peal & Co. Prior to that company's dissolution, Peal & Co. was known for quality footwear of the highest caliber, at one point holding King George V's royal warrant. Eventually, Brooks' Peal line became something of a catch-all name for footwear made by a variety of Northampton shoemakers - all rebadged and sold under the Peal name. Makers at one time or another have included Crockett & Jones, Alfred Sargent, and Church's.


Brooks Brothers has recently begun stocking Edward Green shoes under that company's own imprint, but "the shoemaker to the discerning few"  also once provided shoes to Brooks Brothers under the Peal & Co. label. It isn't too hard to find used Peal shoes by Edward Green, but in most cases the shoes will be well-worn and in need of some TLC to get the shoes in  wearable condition.






Imagine my surprise when I was lucky enough to come into possession of a pair of dead-stock Peal & Co. loafers made by Edward Green - with vintage shoe bags from Brooks Brothers included. I'm always interested in seeing pristine examples of vintage British footwear that was made 25-30 years ago - the fact that these shoes fit me is an added plus. However, I'm now forced to decide whether I should actually add these shoes to the rotation or to the display case with my vintage Edward Green collection. Decisions, decisions.



Anyway, its probably also worth pointing out that these Peal shoes are a little different - most Peal shoes by Edward Green use the old sizing system wherein the stamped numbers indicate sizing and width. This pair must not be quite as old, as you can see Edward Green's later method of writing the size, width, and last information on the inside of the shoe. In this case, the loafers were made on Edward Green's 184 loafer last. The small numeral above the sizing info indicates that 2 pairs of 9.5E shoes were included in this particular Peal shipment that was sent to Brooks Brothers.







The shoes are in a lovely shade of antique chestnut calf. It's actually a bit lighter than traditional antique chestnut - its actually somewhere between chestnut and edwardian antique. The soles are channeled, with a slightly bevelled waist - however, the waist is essentially "flat" when compared to what you see on today's Edward Green shoes or similar offerings from Gaziano & Girling or John Lobb. The "Made In England" stamp, so familiar to fans of Edward Green, is not on the waist but can instead be found at the toe of the sole. Interestingly, the waist of the sole and the heel have been stamped "Peal," which reminded me of Lobb's similar style of stamping their bespoke offerings.





This particular model appears to be similar to Edward Green's Piccadilly loafer. One interesting design feature of the loafer is the split seam along the inner part of the loafer's upper. Most of the loafers I've purchased recently have no such seam showing - whether this was a design preference or the result of technological limitations of the time is unclear.



In any event, yet another lovely pair of shoes from Edward Green.






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