The company was founded in 1858 by the Hungarian hatter Michael Szászy who had come to live at the capital of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Behind the magnificent baroque court-stables, which are museums now, the workshop was set up in the Biedermeier-tradition. Soon he and his family, aided by a few workers, manufactured high-class hats.

For some generations the firm produced mainly the silken top-hats of the elegant Viennese high society. The company survived the end of the monarchy, as well as the crises of the war years. But when the designated heir that was to follow in his father´s footsteps fell in the war, the shop was taken over by Franz and Josefine Caletka.

The Caletka family continued the traditional craftsmanship for over 30 years, but there was no heir. Until one day, by fate, Shmuel Schapira entered the small, hidden workshop, discovered his fascination with the art of the hatter and entered the business as a late apprentice.

Mr. Shapira learned all the secrets of the master hatter and later on passed all the called-for tests. When the old master suffered a stroke, the shop was handed over to Shmuel Shapira.
Today master Shapira specializes in elegant and exclusive gentlemen´s hats. His extraordinary hats are made individually, step by step, by hand and are of a rare and exquisite quality that can almost not be found anywhere in the world any more.