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Pair of shoes

Pair of shoes

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1865-1875 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Julien Mayer (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Satin, leather, cotton and linen sewn with cotton thread; gilt metal buckle

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Mary Montefiore

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The low-heeled lady's shoe was essentially a heeled version of the flat satin slipper which had been popular for much of the first half of the nineteenth century. Classically inspired 'sandal shoes', with their square toe and throat, flat soles, rosettes and ribbon ankle ties, continued to be worn in black or white for formal wear right up to the 1860s. However, from the 1840s more elaborate styles for everyday wear began to emerge and heels came back into fashion.

Buckles, which were all but abandoned between 1790 and 1850, except on Court shoes, returned to popularity. These styles were sometimes referred to as Cromwells because they resembled a style of seventeenth-century footwear. However, unlike their predecessors which served a practical function, the nineteenth-century buckle was purely for show. Donated to the museum in 1919, this pair of shoes was worn by the donor in the 1870s.

Physical description

Cream satin low-heeled shoes with satin rosette and gilt buckle decoration; square toe and throat, cream satin upper with pair of forward-slanting folded side seams; cream satin rosette sewn to gauze which in turn is sewn to the shoe at the throat, rosette embellished with gilt buckle at its centre; edges bound with beige cotton, sewn with cream thread, cotton cord tie-pulls at throat, looped cotton ankle tie sewn to edges near seams; cream leather insole and quarter lining, cream linen vamp lining; brown leather sole stamped and inscribed.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)


1865-1875 (made)


Julien Mayer (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Satin, leather, cotton and linen sewn with cotton thread; gilt metal buckle

Marks and inscriptions

Maker's stamp on sole of both shoes at toe, a crown with text below: 'MAYER / Julien / A PARIS' beneath this three medallions set amongst scrolling foliage stating 'PARIS / 1re MED / 1861' another stating 'LONDRES / PRIZE MED / 1862' and another stating 'PORTO / 1RE MED / 1865', below the medallions some text set into a ribbon, 'MANUFRE PARIS'.

Both shoes inscribed on the leather quarter lining, 'Worn by the donor in 1875'


Height: 8.5 cm each shoe, Width: 6 cm each shoe, Length: 23.5 cm each shoe, Height: 4.2 cm each shoe, heel only

Descriptive line

F, pair of cream satin low-heeled shoes with golden buckle and cream satin rosette decoration at throat; Julien Mayer, Paris, 1865-1875


Satin; Leather; Linen; Cotton; Cotton; Gilt metal; Gauze


Shoe making


Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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