Hand Tool - Leatherworking Tool, 1930s-1970s Object Reg. No: HT 17075

Similar to many of Stanio Fancoff's other shoemaking tools, this instrument appears to have the customary leather strap for hanging during storage, the decorative incised lined handle and signs of usage. Although it is difficult to determine this particular tool's use, Stanio Fancoff was a dedicated shoemaker and as such his shoemaking tools were an essential part of his life and livelihood.

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.
Similar to many shoemaker tools, this unknown tool combines a medium coloured wooden handle with a attached metal instrument. The instrument with its metal necktie exhibits signs of ageing. At the instrument's end two screws hold attachments in place. The first attachment is unknown, but what remains references a possible wheel. The second retains an adjustable arm, allowing the tool a permanent measuring device. Underneath these two devices on the instrument's face is the instrument's makers trademark "'A (? possibly the shoe image trade mark) / GEORGE / BARNSLEY/ SHEFFIELD". The medium brown hour shaped wooden handle has singular horizontal lines incised within the upper and lower handle portions. Furthermore, it has a medium tanned leather strap with a button hole plus an additional leather piece simultaneously singularly tacked the handle's lower portion.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Nancy Vasileff, 2207
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 30 mm (Width), 145 mm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: boot shoemaking, bulgarian communities, bulgarian immigration, immigration, small businesses, tools, 1 or 1 1, 1 1, 1 and 1 1, or 1 1--, order by 1000, or a a
Themes this item is part of: Stanio Fancoff, Bulgarian Migrant & Shoe Maker, 1929, Migration Collection, Working Life & Trades Collection
Primary Classification: MIGRATION
Secondary Classification: Settlement - Employment
Tertiary Classification: tools & equipment
Inscriptions: Flat Metal Face - 'A / GEORGE / BARNSLEY/ SHEFFIELD"
Past Owner or User: Mr Stanio Fancoff, Australia, 1930s-1970s
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


peter castles Posted on 05 Mar 2013 11:30 PM
That tool is definately "boot" by the shape of the handle and the way it is hung up. I am a saddlemaker , but with a love of all leather tools. We generally do not hang up our tools , each one going into a little loop of leather at the back of the bench. It is plain to see the 'fence' on that tool. That rubs against the leather. Then one can see that protusion sticking out that scores the leather. I would suggest it is to enable stitches to be laid below the surface of the leather or such like. I would say that the leather would be wet, and should score quite easily.A tool for marking close to the edge suggests stitching to me. Anyway, good talking to you. Regards,Peter. (Australian Saddlemaker)
Dan Charlesworth Posted on 30 Apr 2013 9:18 AM
This looks like an adjustable gouge or groover for either stiching or decorative work. I think the sharpened screw pont was drawn along the leather to produce a groove or mark for stiching

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