Thursday 2 April 2020

A Lost Craft

Not that long ago you would see shoeshiners on the street, anywhere in Turkey. With the amount of leather shoes getting less with sport shoes on the rise and also stricter rules for street vendors they have practically disappeared.

Back in October at the Flea market in Izmir we scored a shoeshiner's box, a cool and rare find.

It did not have its bottles which we found online (second hand) and it was pretty oxidized and dirty so I've cleaned it up and did some repair for many hours.

The shoeshiner would carry this along with a stool for himself and the customer, a heavy job fr not much money. Nowadays people usually leave their shoes at repair shops.

In its drawers it still had some stuff like shoe polish, a shoehorn and those plastic pieces are to prevent socks from getting dirty.

This guy has almost the exact same box, please also note their sleeves the wear to prevent getting their clothes dirty.

I wish I had taken photos of how it was when we got it, I love repairing and reviving old forgotten things, I find it very satisfying.

A man has carried this box for many years to feed his family, I think such a piece deserves some respect and care.

Some of them would be adorned with pretty ladies :)

The photo below I took about 10 years ago in Izmir, I think he actually might have been the last polisher I've seen but I'm sure there are still some in larger cities.

Our lovely shoe shine box is available at StarHomeStudio.


  1. wow !!! I saw street shoe makers only in the movies

  2. it's kind of sad that certain jobs disappear. Although those could come back if needed.
    And those shoe boxes are really beautiful!