Pair of Shoes thumbnail 1
Pair of Shoes thumbnail 2
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Not currently on display at the V&A

Pair of Shoes

ca. 1800 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This style of heeled shoe, made of pastel coloured kid leather with painted or stencilled patterns, with an exaggerated pointed toe, was popular in the latter years of the 18th century. It was much simpler than previous women's styles which had tended to be made of leather, have a pronounced heel. They had often been made of fabric. In 1801 the Lady's Magazine which illustrated just such spotted kid shoes.


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

  • Shoe
  • Shoe
Materials and Techniques
Leather, with stencilled decoration
Brief Description
Pair of pink kid women's shoes with stencilled spot motif
Physical Description
Pair of pink women's shoes with pointed toe and stencilled decoration.
Dimensions
  • Height: 7.5cm
  • Width: 7cm
  • Length: 26cm
The width measurement refers to the widest part of the shoe where the leather has settled outwards around the upper edge.
Credit line
Given by Mrs H. P. Mitchell
Historical context
Shoes of this type can be dated to the 1790s because of their low heels and pointed toes. Previously, the majority of women's shoes had much higher heels, fastened with buckles, and were often made of fabric.



Both shoes are the cut in exactly the same shape, a practice that had been constant since the introduction of heels in about 1600. With a return to flat shoes from the 1790s, the most important technical innovation was the re-introduction of rights and lefts which were a mirror image of each other. Women were slower to adopt them than men.(Swann)



Bibliography

Giorgio Riello, A Foot in the Past. Consumers, Producers and Footwear in the Long Eighteenth Century, CUP/Pasold, 2006 - social, economic and material culture history, which offers the best overview of the nature of the trade and analyses the implications of changing demand.

Peter McNeil and Giorgio Riello, 'The Art and Science of Walking: Gender, Space and the Fashionable Body in the Long Eighteenth Century', Fashion Theory, Vol. 9:2, 2005, pp. 175-204.
Summary
This style of heeled shoe, made of pastel coloured kid leather with painted or stencilled patterns, with an exaggerated pointed toe, was popular in the latter years of the 18th century. It was much simpler than previous women's styles which had tended to be made of leather, have a pronounced heel. They had often been made of fabric. In 1801 the Lady's Magazine which illustrated just such spotted kid shoes.
Bibliographic Reference
ed. Natalie Rothstein, Four Hundred Years of Fashion, V&A, 1984, p. 112-13.
Collection
Accession Number
T.115&a-1933

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record createdAugust 21, 2008
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