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Pair of shoes

Pair of shoes

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1830s-1840s (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk, linen and leather

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Thomas W. Grieg

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Fashion, Room 40, case CA5 []

As skirts became wider and shorter during the 1830s attention focussed on the foot and ankle. Brightly coloured silk shoes complemented the richness of the gown, often matching the sash or the long fluttering ribbons worn in the hat.

Rosettes became increasingly fashionable. The white shoes shown here have been customised with a rosette applied on top of an existing bow. It is made from one piece of ribbon which has been box-pleated in concentric circles and then sewn onto a circular buckram backing. The elastic tie just visible on the inner is also a later addition. It would have fastened around the ankle to keep the shoe in place.

Due to their fragility, silk 'slippers' were usually reserved for indoor wear, evening dress or special occasions. Looking at these examples it is not difficult to see why. Although the toes are lined with linen and the back of the upper with kid they were clearly not made to last. Some writers complained that silk shoes became distorted and ugly after a few days wear. They were also probably uncomfortable as the toes are narrow, square and very shallow.

Physical description

White slipper with a shallow square toe and rosette trimming. It does not have a heel, only a leather sole

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1830s-1840s (made)



Materials and Techniques

Silk, linen and leather


Fashion; Footwear; Clothing; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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