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Pair of shoes

Pair of shoes

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1850 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Melnotte (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Satin, silk, linen and leather stitched with cotton thread

  • 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 of shoes is a typical example of that style which was popular in both France and England. 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 and ribbon ankle ties. Melnotte, the manufacturer of this pair of slippers, had outlets in London and Paris. The paper maker’s label stuck onto the insole of each shoe ensured the customers did not forget who supplied them, and gives the addresses of Melnotte’s outlets at Old Bond Street and Rue de la Paix.

Physical description

Heedless ladies satin slippers; square toe and throat, cream satin upper with edges bound in cream silk ribbon and pair of side seams double stitched; cream silk double ribbon at throat (right shoe only), cream cotton string-pulls at throat; cream leather insole and quarter lining, cream linen vamp lining; brown leather sole stamped and inscribed.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)


ca. 1850 (made)


Melnotte (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Satin, silk, linen and leather stitched with cotton thread

Marks and inscriptions

Sole of both shoes inscribed at toe in black ink, '36 el'

both shoes stamped with a '6' or is it a '9' at the side of ths sole near the heel

Printed paper maker's label stuck to insole at waist in both shoes, 'A PARIS / No. 20, Rue de la Paix. / MELNOTTE, / Bte. de L.L.M.M. la Reine des / Français et la Reine des Belges. / 23, Old Bond Street, / LONDON.'


Height: 4 cm each shoe, Width: 5 cm, Length: 22.5 cm

Descriptive line

Pair of white satin heeless ladies slippers; Melnotte, Paris about 1850


Satin; Leather; Linen; Cotton; Silk


Shoe-making; Stamping


Footwear; Accessories; Fashion; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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