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Pair of shoes

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain, UK (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1800 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Leather, with stencilled decoration

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs H. P. Mitchell

  • Museum number:

    T.115&a-1933

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

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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.

Physical description

Pair of pink women's shoes with pointed toe and stencilled decoration.

Place of Origin

Great Britain, UK (made)

Date

ca. 1800 (made)

Artist/maker

unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques

Leather, with stencilled decoration

Dimensions

Height: 7.5 cm, Width: 7 cm, Length: 26 cm

Historical context note

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.

Descriptive line

Pair of pink kid women's shoes with stencilled spot motif

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

ed. Natalie Rothstein, Four Hundred Years of Fashion, V&A, 1984, p. 112-13.
Illustrated on p. 112 and mentioned at the top of p. 113 as part of a group of pink and yellow patterned kid shoes in the collection, dating to 1790s with low heels and pointed toes.

Exhibition History

Shoes - Pleasure & Pain (V&A 05/2015-02/2016)
Princely Treasures: European Masterpieces 1600-1800 from the V&A (National Museum of Korea (Seoul) 02/05/2011-28/08/2011)
These shoes were on display in the V&A Costume Court from 1962-1979. (Victoria and Albert Museum)

Materials

Leather

Categories

Footwear; Fashion; Accessories

Collection code

T&F

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Qr_O166239
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