This rigid, dark brown coloured leather sample remnant is approximately 4mm thick and was most likely used to make Stanio Fancoff's shoe soles sometime between the 1930s and 1970s. Along with many other leather shoe sole remnants, this sample illustrates the quality and different sole depths that Stanio used 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

Rigid dark brown coloured leather remnant of approximately 4mm thick. Although the remnant is cut into no definitive shape, the front left side has one deep punched hole which travels almost the leather's depth and multiple hole-punctures located within the central area. The front side texture appears buffed to provide a slight sheen with a watermark line mid left centre. The reverse side exhibits a slightly less buffed appearance whereby the leather's natural fibres are illustrated along with extensive water mark patterns and several hole-punch indentations.


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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