In the days following the end of the First World War the three companies, Sanders & Sanders Ltd, C W Horrell and George Selwood & Co, began to discuss what they might do in order to increase trade. They had increased their workforce, along with machinery, to cope with the huge demand during the War to keep the armies well shod. Now there was no army contract work and new orders were desperately needed to keep their workers employed. It was decided to create a new company to make shoes for a new clientele the gentlemen and noblemen to make and sell the finest shoes they could. The decision was made to open an office in London.
On January 20th 1921 Articles of Association were signed by William Benjamin Sanders and Charles William Horrell and the Fine Art Shoe Company Ltd began trading. The directors of the company were:-
|Charles William Horrell
||Harry Bernard Selwood
|William McCarthy Horrell
||William Benjamin Sanders senior
||William Benjamin Sanders junior
|Frank Joseph Sharwood
Four companies were in the association; Sanders & Sanders Ltd, C W Horrell, Geo Selwood & Co and Victoria Leather Company (begun by Sanders Brothers at Higham Ferrers). In order to advertise the finest shoes they decided to produce the finest catalogue and to equate their shoes to the finest pictures in the art world. They leased a property at 150 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 where they established offices dealing worldwide.
But the economic climate following the War was not the time for people to spend their money on exclusive footwear and when they realised they were trading a loss, it was decided in 1925 to go into voluntary liquidation. The accounts were finalised in August 1927 and showed that the three main companies had each put in a loan of £2,000 in an effort to keep the company afloat. A fall in the exchange rate of monies banked in France realised only about one fifth of the actual trade value.
The four companies all survived this disastrous event, and all continued to trade successfully and were ready to make supplies for the armies of England once again when the need came in the Second World War.