The piece of October is a group of leather and fabric bow samples from the 1950s/1960s. Sales representative Antoni Tomàs Puigserver (Buenos Aires 1923 – Llucmajor 2013) obtained them from companies that used to manufacture these ornaments in Llucmajor and for which he used to work.
The sale of leather and other basic parts required in shoe manufacturing (soles, insoles, laces, etc.) was one of the auxiliary tasks without which it would have not been possible to make shoes at all. Sales representatives were responsible for this; they would sell these items to both big factories and small workshops. Sales representatives for leather, soles, ornaments, etc. would visit their clients on a regular basis to show them the products, and then production managers would order what they needed. Finally, the materials ordered would be shipped to the factories. Sales representatives or agents worked very closely with manufacturers, so their job was crucial to the industry.
As far as leather is concerned, most leathers used by Majorcan factories were imported from India and other Asian countries. They were obtained from different animals, such as cow, goat or sheep. However, synthetic leathers have become increasingly popular in the shoe making industry over the last couple of decades.
Historically, the sale of leather and items required in shoe manufacturing has traditionally been associated to men. There are few women who have worked as sales representatives, even though this trend is slowly changing now. Also, bow and leather samples are hardly used these days, since they have been replaced by paper and digital catalogues. In addition, the job of sales representatives is no longer as epic as it used to be if we compare it to the 1960s/1970s, when Majorcan sales agents had to travel to the mainland for business.