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Pair of shoes

  • Place of origin:

    France (made)
    England (retailed)

  • Date:

    ca. 1850 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Melnotte (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Leather, silk ribbon, lined with cotton, sewn with cotton thread

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 122, case 2, shelf []

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 a typical example of that style although they were more commonly made of less robust materials such as silk or satin rather than leather. Melnotte, the manufacturer who produced these shoes, was based in Paris. It was one of several French companies who sold their wares in London, not through established English retailers, but in their own outlets.

Physical description

Pair of black leather shoes with edges and seams bound in black silk ribbon. Cream leather insole and sock, cream cotton lining, and with remnants of ribbon ties sewn to the sides near the seams. Brown leather sole with '7' inscribed in ink at the toe on both shoes.

Place of Origin

France (made)
England (retailed)


ca. 1850 (made)


Melnotte (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Leather, silk ribbon, lined with cotton, sewn with cotton thread

Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed on soles at toe


Height: 5 cm each, Width: 6 cm each, Length: 23.5 cm each

Descriptive line

Pair of leather shoes and silk ribbon, Melnotte, France, ca. 1850, retailed in England


Leather; Cotton; Silk; Ribbon




Footwear; Fashion; Accessories; Textiles; Great Exhibition; Leather; Women's clothes; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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