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Beautiful Vintage Brown Leather English Ice Skates

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Directory: Archives: Collectibles: Nostalgia: Pre 1980: Item # 1228352





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Beautiful Vintage Brown Leather English Ice Skates
It's easy to picture these great vintage skates hanging from a wreath or nestled at hearthside amid greenery -- but they can also be plenty useful on an ice rink or frozen pond, given their fabulous condition.

Although scarcely worn (if at all), these professional quality skates are probably around 50-60 years old -- but at least 35 years old, since they're marked "Empire Pool and Sports Arena". This ties them to a London sports facility that's been known simply as Wembley Arena since the mid-1970s. It opened in 1924, as part of a vast complex hosting the British Empire Exhibition, so the skates could conceivably date from the Art Deco period and be antique, rather than just vintage. I'm no authority on figure skating equipment, but these don't resemble any skates I've ever worn; for instance, the tongues are lined with fluffy sheepskin (not the usual foam); the tops are straight across and exceptionally tall; and they're brown, despite being small enough to fit a lady (whereas ladies' skating boots have typically been white since that color was popularized by Sonja Henie in the 1930s). Perhaps they were made for a boy, but they seem too narrow for a child's foot. I'd judge the size of the skates to be about a US 5 1/2 or 6.

Regardless of their precise age, everything about the skates communicates excellence. Gold-stamped in the heel area along with the "Empire Pool" address is the name "M. Riordan" (presumably a skate maker or skater based there). The top of each boot's interior is also marked "Embekay for Figure Skating" - then 3241 4 S 110. The blades, marked Sheffield and Pinnacle, are protected by what appear to be hand-stitched blade covers. A lengthy search online has turned up nothing on M. Riordan or Embekay - so, if you happen to know about either or can date these reliably by some other means, please send us an e-mail. We do know for sure that they came from an antiques shop near Newmarket in East Anglia.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping, with an equivalent discount on international delivery, and gift-wrap is always free on request. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



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