Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1850 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Satin, linen and leather sewn with cotton thread with silk ribbon bow

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Messrs Harrods Ltd.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

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 is a typical example of that style. The thin leather sole and delicately hand-stitched uppers were relatively simple and cheap to produce. The small black double bow was a standard feature put there by the manufacturer and was often later covered up by more elaborate decoration according to the tastes of the retailer or owner. Other surviving examples of sandal shoes customised with rosettes, bows and ribbon ankle ties are evidence of this.

Physical description

Black satin heelless ladies slippers; square toe and throat, edges bound with black silk ribbon, pair of forward-slanting side seams close to throat; small black double-tiered silk ribbon bow at throat, black silk ribbon ankle ties sewn to sides near seams - possibly once a single loop; cream leather insole and quarter lining, cream linen vamp lining; brown leather sole, wheeled along inner edge length of waist.

Place of Origin

England (made)


ca. 1850 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Satin, linen and leather sewn with cotton thread with silk ribbon bow

Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed in black ink on lining at throat 'Harpers' or 'Harpem'


Height: 3.5 cm each shoe, Width: 6 cm each shoe, Length: 23.5 cm each shoe

Descriptive line

Black satin heeless ladies slipper; English, about 1850


Satin; Leather; Silk; Cotton; Linen


Shoe making




Textiles and Fashion Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.