Pair of Shoes thumbnail 1
Pair of Shoes thumbnail 2
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Fashion, Room 40

Pair of Shoes

1830-1835 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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. They came in a wide variety of colours, including the ‘canary yellow’, ‘palm-leaf green’ and ‘marshmallow blossom’. Delicate bows and rosettes enhanced the daintiness of the shoe and foot.

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Shoe
  • Shoe
Materials and Techniques
Silk satin, lined with kid leather, linen
Brief Description
Pair of shoes covered in silk satin, Great Britain, 1830-1835
Physical Description
Pair of heel-less shoes of yellow silk satin with a shallow square toe rounded at the sides. Trimmed with a ribbon bow. Lined with kid leather and the name of the owner is inscribed on the inside. The shoes have a linen insole and leather sole.
Dimensions
  • Each length: 15.5in
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
'RIGHT 656' and 'LEFT 656' (Each shoe with its corresponding inscription)
Credit line
Given by C. M. Buckney, Esq.
Summary
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. They came in a wide variety of colours, including the ‘canary yellow’, ‘palm-leaf green’ and ‘marshmallow blossom’. Delicate bows and rosettes enhanced the daintiness of the shoe and foot.



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.
Collection
Accession Number
T.178&A-1962

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record createdOctober 18, 2005
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