Timber shoe last used by Stanio Fancoff to mould his shoes between the 1930s and1970s. Although many shoes can be made on the same shoe last, the heel height and toe shape remain the same. This particular shoe last has a rounded toe, small foot and heel width indicates its use for making women's shoes.
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. In 1936, 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. Selected shoe samples were then taken to Sydney and Tasmania for sale. In 1942, Georgi and Stanio moved to Broken Hill for Georgi's health; daughter Nancy was born there 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.
Right foot, solid wooden sculpted shoe last within a generic foot shape and some metal and leather inserts. Several indentations and scratches are present, while located within the inner ankle area a crack ascends from top midway join to atop of the shoe last's ankle and the lower inner back area is marked by two horizontal pencil lines.
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.
Donation from Nancy Vasileff, 21/03/2007
Past Owner or User
Incised, inner top vamp: PV69 Stamped, black ink, inner top ankle: PV69EE Stamped, black ink, outer side: RD. No 5304 / PATENT No 22276
Type of item
75 mm (Width), 220 mm (Depth), 80 mm (Height)
220 mm (Length), 75 mm (Width), 80 mm (Height)
Measurement From Conservation.
R.A. Salaman, 'Dictionary of Leather-working Tools c.1700-1950 and Tools of Allied Trades,' London: George Allen and Unwin (Publishers) Ltd, 1986 [Section 2: Boot and Shoe Maker pp18-185]. John Peacock. 'Shoes, The Complete Sourcebook,' London:Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2005. NAA holds file (online) on Vasil George Zemancheff, Fancoff's employer