True vintage or retro? It’s not easy to tell with shoes from European makers. The styles are so classic and the construction methods so traditional that they still look like the beautiful footwear we used to see in North America before marketing and cost-cutting robbed them of their elegance and high quality.
Whether these were made in the Sixties, the Eighties or 5 years ago, they were too good to pass by. The value, of course, is that I can have them repaired as needed for as long as I want to wear them.
That’s it for my most recent treasure hunt but now that I’m on dry land again, you just never know . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Look what I discovered and picked up for pennies! Although I avoid buying any modern pieces of leather, skins or fur, I’m still captivated by the style and quality of true vintage examples which have endured in the second-hand market.
Made in Mexico, this belt from a bygone era combines the best features of beauty and craftsmanship. (And, it’s my size!)
Someone enjoyed this lovely accessory for years and perhaps was reminded of a great trip south of the border. I’ll carry on the fantasy while I nip the waists of pants, skirts and jackets. Ole’!
Yes, yes, yes, ANOTHER one. I just can’t pass up true vintage hand-tooled leather bags. Maybe because they’re always different from one another. The designs, while traditional, are all unique and sometimes very personalized.
This is the only one I have of exactly this shape or with this motif. Love the rigid frame that gives it a very roomy interior. It could be from the 1940’s up to the early 1960’s.
Designs on leather handbags were very popular beginning in the 1920’s(?) and 1930’s but the earlier ones may have been stamped designs. Western-style and Mexican hand-carved designs came a little bit later and the bags usually tended to be bigger. Then it became all the rage to make these bags at home with lessons, leather-craft materials and tools from suppliers like Tandy. Today, they are real treasures! More to come – stay tuned . .. . . .
Remember this reptile handbag that you saw hanging on Stella’s arm in yesterday’s post? Well, here’s a close-up and it’s even more gorgeous than in this picture. A beautifully-made bag by Lesco, with a tan leather interior and the finishing touches that you would expect in a fine accessory item from the 1950’s. Yes, I also have similar handbags already, but not a black one!
And, that’s not all. There’s another one coming tomorrow. Stay tuned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Remember the lovely lizard bag I found a few days ago? Well, here’s a sister from the same era, but in croc. This one may be a bit older, due to the restrictions that were imposed on crocodile leather and other exotic skins after WWII. As with fur, I’m not a fan of animal skins for our clothing and accessories and won’t buy any new ones but the true vintage examples are collectible pieces of fashion history to me.
As is the other one, this one’s a beauty. It has a full-leather interior and several pockets. Although there are some apparent discolorations on the outside (they might even be natural to the skin itself), it’s very clean and undamaged inside – always a delight when discovering an old handbag!
So, surprised again! I always love that, and the surprises keep on coming . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Traditional design and construction in this handsome, high-quality sweater have let it last for 50+ years with very little sign of wear. Nice, soft virgin wool and buttery suede, plus knotted leather buttons made this a favorite, iconic style for decades.
I’m always so glad to find garments like this one in such wonderful condition. Big for me, but I know someone who might find it to be just the thing .. . . . . . . . . . . . .
This super-fun summer version of the classic Weejuns is still true vintage but a more recent incarnation – made in the 1980’s or 1990’s, sometime before 1993. As we would expect, they are completely of leather excepting for some parts of the insoles. So, that means that they can be repaired forever when some wear appears.
I’m including a little close-up photo here of the essential features of these wonderful hand-made belts from the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s. The best were made by artisans in the Southwest U.S. and Mexico but many home-leatherworkers became quite good at the craft and could rival them, or almost.
Handbags, purses, wallets and belts were the most common items made but once I saw a full set of luggage at an auction. Almost got it.
The features that distinguish these pieces from newer and less worthy ones are primarily three: 1. high quality leather 2. deep carefully-done tooling in traditional designs, with nice finishing and 3. an adjustable snap-on/off at the buckle end and high quality silver or silver-plate buckle.
Rare enough to be worth pouncing on whenever seen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .