This 1930s-1940s left foot, low heeled, green leather female dress sandal was one of Stanio Fancoff's basket shoe samples. This shoe, along with six others, were shown to prospective purchasers as examples of Stanio's shoewares which were made from his shoemaking business in Fitzroy by himself and family.
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.
Left foot low heeled female dress sandal of green leather basketweave. Enclosed shoe with strapped open back in a criss-cross basket weave pattern of leather. Neutral coloured leather heel insole with the remainder insole being of a darker brown colour. Brown coloured leather sole stamped on the base, with heel of 4.5cm height and 3cm depth, and three tacks connect heel to sole. Leather wraps around heel, joining at heel breast centre.
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, 21/03/2207
Stamped sole base: Stamp is rather worn away and smudged, appears oval in shape with a central ring with inscription 'S. FANCOFF.', while outer ring upper '... MADE' and the lower portion reads 'BASKET SHOES '
Type of item
245 mm (Length), 85 mm (Width), 55 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