This hand-cut boot pattern has been created on brown paper and was most likely used by Stanio Fancoff for creating his various children's shoes sometime between the 1930s to the 1970s. This pattern's different length sizes of 10, 11.5 and 12.5 inches and pencilled markings of "BOES", "13-1 GERLS BOYS" suggests this is a children's generic boot pattern. Amongst many others, this pattern is part of the shoemaking designer kit that enabled Stanio to acquire versatility and different fashions within his shoemaking trade.

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 shoe making business for 59 years. This collection documents his migration and working life experiences.

Physical Description

Created within a side-view perspective this boot pattern is generated on brown paper with an additional small paper section joined to extend the calf width area. This boot pattern exhibits several pencil markings and text indicating sizing and shape. Running vertically from the top to the lower three quarters mark are two pencilled parallel lines with an internal penned zig zag ending with a small square and the text "ZIP:" placed on its left hand side. At the boot's top are two horizontal lines, on the left hand zip side is the text "12 1/2" and on the right another two lines enclose a one inch rectangular shaped area. Inside this enclosed area is an arrow pointing towards the zip and a two dimensionally drawn box flanked by the number "2". Located approximately one third down the calf section is another double cross-line with the numbers "11 1/2" written underneath, and at the midway point a third double-cross line appears with the text 10". Drawn diagonally from the boot's upper midway to the base of the heel's counter are two lines with the number "14". At the boot's base, a 1cm sole is singularly lined with two vertical lines placed within the forefront, possibly references nail joins and a 2.5cm heel is indicated via the placement of two partitioning lines. The text "BOES" (double underlined) and underneath this is placed "13-1" , whilst to its right are the words "GERLS BOYS" (dash underlined) . On the reverse side a double headed arrow appears within a vertical location with the text "13 3/4" Although the pattern appears in good condition, it does exhibit two creases, one located at the '10"' marker point and the other slightly off right within in the boot's foot area.


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.

More Information

  • Collecting Areas

    Migration & Cultural Diversity, Working Life & Trades

  • Acquisition Information

    Donation from Nancy Vasileff, 21/03/2207

  • Maker

    Mr Stanio Fancoff, Australia, 1930s

  • Inscriptions

    Front, Handwritten, Pencil, Boot Top Edge, Text: 12 1/2 Front, Handwritten, Pencil, 3.5 inches below Boot Top Edge, Text: 11 1/2 Front, Handwritten, Pencil,7.75 inches below Boot Top Edge, Text: 10" Front, Handwritten, Pencil,Central, 3/4 way down boot length, written vertically, Text: ZIP: Front, Handwritten, Pencil,Below Zip End, off central left, Text: 14 Front, Handwritten, Pencil,Text: BOES/13-1 GERLS BOYS Reverse, Handwritten, Pencil,Text: 13 3/4

  • Classification

    Migration, Settlement - employment, Tools & equipment

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline


  • Type of item


  • 2D format

    255 mm (Width), 360 mm (Height)

  • References

    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

  • Keywords

    Boot & Shoemaking, Bulgarian Communities, Bulgarian Immigration, Immigration, Small Businesses