This hand-cut right shoe sole pattern with its various pencil markings and inscriptions has been created on grey cardboard and was most likely used by Stanio Fancoff in the creating of his various shoe styles sometime between the 1930s and 1970s. This particular shoe sole is of small stature, and with the accompany pencilled numbers "8 1/2" suggest this to be a child's shoe sole. Furthermore, created on commercial cardboard this sole pattern signifies that in creating his patterns Stanio used everyday materials. Along with many others, this sole pattern piece was an integral part to Stanio's shoemaking craft and business.
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.
This hand-cut right shoe sole pattern with its various pencil markings and inscription was created from grey commercial cardboard. On the frontside, the grey cardboard exhibits pencil lines that mimic the sole's outer edges while centrally positioned within the footpad are the numbers "81/2". On the backside, the black shiny surface has printed upon it a red stripe line that ends before the cream coloured text. Unfortunately, an area of 5 x 2cm has been stripped, removing the outer cardboard surface and the completion of the text. Furthermore, a small hole is found within the heel area and crease lines can be found within the toe cap and footpad inner.
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 Mar 2007
Front, Handwritten, Pencil, Text: 8 1/2. Backside, Commercially Printed, Cream colored Text: Gayfoa...
Type of item
72 mm (Width), 183 mm (Height)
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