This stepped type glazing iron is one of many irons belonging within Stanio Fancoff's shoemaking tool set. These apparatuses were used hot after applying wax, inks, special polishes or heel balls to give the leather surface lustre, particularly within the soles and heels. This particular tool bears the tool manufacturers trade mark "ALS / Barnsley/ Sheffield / England". George Barnsley and Son's produced shoemakers' tools in Sheffield, England (1835-1990). The glazing iron was an integral part of Stanio's shoemaking tool kit as it provided him with the means to achieve greater aesthetic enhancement within his shoemaking craft.

Stanio Ivanoff Fancoff was born in 1908 in Bojentsi, a small village in Bulgaria. At age 11, Stanio left home to learn the shoemaking trade. In 1929, he immigrated to Melbourne, settled in Fitzroy and began to work for the V.G. Zemancheff & Sons basket shoe factory in South Melbourne. In1936, he married Dorotea Georgi Touzou who had recently arrived in Australia. Around this time, Stanio set up his own shoemaking business from home, with Georgi, her cousin and sister weaving the shoes which he then assembled. Select shoe samples were then taken to Sydney and Tasmania for sale. In 1942, Georgi and Stanio moved to Broken Hill for Georgi's health; there daughter Nancy was born and Stanio set up a shoe shop/factory. In 1945, Georgi died and by 1950 Stanio and Nancy had moved to Adelaide where he again opened a shoemaking business and shop. He passed away in 1978, having been in the shoemaking business for 59 years. This collection documents his migration and working life experiences.

Physical Description

A stepped glazing iron tool mounted onto a wooden handle. The hour-glass shaped, medium brown wooden handle is marked with two inscribed painted lines and centrally located black paint remnants. Furthermore, the handle's head has a darkened patch possibly due to either stain or being burnt. A small purpose-made tan coloured leather strap with one button hole has been singularly tacked to the wooden handle's lower portion. A copper or possibly brass neck connects the tool head to its handle.The iron head tool appears on one side in a stepped down format, with a single beak on the opposing side. The metal surface is dark coloured, possibly resulting from past use of varnish or waxing application and it is stamped with the tool manufacturers trademark.


This collection is significant in documenting a small migrant business as well as the fashion of a particular period. It is well provenanced and charts the application of trade skills in a new country. It also illustrates the stages of hand shoe manufacture from the 1930s, demonstrating the enduring nature of the tools and patterns that were used.

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