The 3ft (91cm) long shoes – equivalent to a UK size 39 – hung outside the shop from 1907, where they were probably made to demonstrate different types of leather. One is brown with the shop name, Dickinson’s, studded to the sole, and the other black. The materials were probably made from locally tanned hides by nearby Randal and Porters, specialist in bark tanned leathers.
Current shop owner David Gummers, who is selling the shoes ahead of his retirement, says: “They were beautifully made with no cracking on the sole or anything. We’ve kept them and polished them and moved them around a bit because if you have something this unique it’s worth looking after.”
In 2007 he took the shoes to BBC’s Antiques Roadshow in Ulverston where Michael Aspel examined the unusual objects.
“We hope they will make thousands of pounds – but who knows, if two people who are determined to get their hands on an incredibly quirky piece of boot making,” said 1818’s saleroom manager Bill Nelson. They have a guide of £700-1000.
“Dickinson’s has been a landmark on Ulverston’s high street for over 120 years, starting out as a shoe shop and a repairer,” he added, saying that they were an “amazing part” of the town’s history.
The shoes are included in the Cumbrian auction house’s two-day specialist sale from August 5-6.
Ulverston has other historic shop signs including a giant pill box in front of the chemist. This sale follows an auction of historic Parisian shop signs offered at Lucien in March.