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Pair of shoes

Pair of shoes

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1845-1855 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ridley (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Kidskin leather, silk and linen, cotton thread, lined with cotton

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs A. B. Skottowe

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The elegant flat satin lady's slipper first became popular in England during the last decade of the eighteenth century. Its plain design was part of the movement in fashion away from what were considered by some to be the extravagant excesses of the late eighteenth century. The move was towards a simpler, purer style of dress and footwear that was influenced by designs from classical antiquity.

Slippers or 'sandal shoes', continued to be worn well into the mid-century although by the 1850s they were used mainly for formal wear in black or white. This pair of shoes is a typical example of that style. The thin leather sole and delicately hand-stitched kidskin uppers were relatively simple and cheap to produce. They could then be customised either by the retailer or the owner with rosettes, bows and ribbon ankle ties. A paper maker’s label stuck onto the insole of the right shoe informs us that this pair was made by Ridley of London and Brighton. The label includes the Royal insignia and some text stating that the maker was ‘shoe maker to Her Majesty’. At a time when Court fashions were still hugely influential, Royal patronage would have been a sure way to boost sales.

Physical description

Pair of wedding shoes of white kidskin. Heel-less slipper with a silk ribbon rosette, square toe and throat, white kidskin uppers, and a pair of folded side seams. White silk rosette at the throat, and the edges are bound with cream silk. White leather insole and quarter lining, and white linen vamp lining the brown leather sole.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1845-1855 (made)


Ridley (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Kidskin leather, silk and linen, cotton thread, lined with cotton

Marks and inscriptions

'RIDLEY / SHOE MAKER / To Her Majesty / No.52, St. Paul's Church Yard / LONDON / and / 35, Kings Road / BRIGHTON' [below Royal insignia at top of label]
Printed on oval paper maker's label, stuck onto the insole of the right shoe

'8 / 2' [and indecipherable text]
Inscribed in black ink on the leather lining of both shoes


Height: 4.5 cm each, Width: 5.2 cm each, Length: 25.5 cm each

Object history note

Worn for a wedding dated April 30th 1856 by Jane Harman Manclark when she married Albert Buck

Descriptive line

Pair of wedding shoes of kidskin leather and silk, made by Ridley, England, 1845-1855


Silk; Kidskin; Cotton; Linen


Accessories; Footwear; Fashion; Marriage; Women's clothes; Leather


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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