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

Pair of Shoes

1800-1824 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The elegant flat satin lady's slipper first became popular in England and France 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 an example typical of that style. The thin leather sole and delicately hand-stitched satin uppers were relatively simple and cheap to produce. They could then be customised either by the retailer or the owner with rosettes, bows or ribbon ties. Melnotte, the manufacturer who made this pair, was based in Paris but also had an outlet in London. He ensured his customers did not forget where they had purchased their shoes by sticking a printed paper label onto the insole. The label not only bears his name but the addresses of his shops in London and Paris.


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

  • Shoe
  • Shoe
Materials and Techniques
Satin with silk ribbon, cotton and leather, sewn with cotton thread
Brief Description
Pair of shoes, F, 1800-1824, Melnotte, Paris; black silk with bow
Physical Description
Black satin upper, edges bound with black silk ribbon, black silk ribbon decoration at throat; square toe and raised square tongue, pair of folded side seams sewn with black cotton thread; cream leather insole and sock, cream cotton lining.
Dimensions
  • Each shoe height: 6cm
  • Each shoe width: 6.8cm
  • Each shoe length: 24cm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • Printed paper maker's label stuck onto insole of right shoe, 'A [shield with flags at either side] PARIS / No 20, Rue de la Paix / MELNOTTE / Bté de L.L.M.M la Reine des / Français et la Reine de Belges. / 23, Old Bond Street. / London.'
  • '51' stamped on leather insole, left side, towards heel
Credit line
Given by Messrs Harrods Ltd.
Summary
The elegant flat satin lady's slipper first became popular in England and France 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 an example typical of that style. The thin leather sole and delicately hand-stitched satin uppers were relatively simple and cheap to produce. They could then be customised either by the retailer or the owner with rosettes, bows or ribbon ties. Melnotte, the manufacturer who made this pair, was based in Paris but also had an outlet in London. He ensured his customers did not forget where they had purchased their shoes by sticking a printed paper label onto the insole. The label not only bears his name but the addresses of his shops in London and Paris.
Collection
Accession Number
T.532&A-1913

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record createdOctober 29, 2008
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