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Pair of shoes

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1730s-1740s (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Leather, with uppers covered in brocaded Spitalfields silk and trimmed with silk ribbons

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Col. F. G. G. Bailey

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This pair of women's shoes is made up of a brocaded silk woven in Spitalfields, London. Indoor shoes for women were usually made of patterned silk although it was very rare for them to match the fabric of the gown worn with them. The shoes have a fashionable pointed toe, a medium stocky heel and latchets that would have been fastened with buckles. Buckles were regarded as separate accessories and transferred from one pair of shoes to another.

The shoes are complemented by the velvet pattens in which they sit. These pattens are described separately (see T.274B&C-1922). Lack of wear suggests that shoes like this went with a luxurious lifestyle and were perhaps worn in dry conditions, in sedan chairs or even indoors. They were really fashion accessories, without any real utilitarian value.

Physical description

Pair of women's shoes of Spitalfields silk with pointed toe and latchet fastening. The shoes are teamed with complementing pattens. See separate description.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1730s-1740s (made)



Materials and Techniques

Leather, with uppers covered in brocaded Spitalfields silk and trimmed with silk ribbons


Length: 23 cm, Width: 6.25 cm of soles, Width: 10 cm maximum, Height: 13.5 cm

Descriptive line

Pair of shoes of Spitalfields silk

Labels and date

Label for the exhibition Shoes: Pleasure and Pain

Precious Pattens
These shoes of brocaded Spitalfields silk are complemented by velvet pattens (overshoes). The velvet would not have withstood any soiling, so the pattens must have been for a woman who did not need to navigate the grubby streets. They were status symbols used only indoors, or for those few steps into the waiting carriage, and proclaimed that the wearer had expensive shoes on underneath.Shoes with velvet pattens
Brocaded silk, velvet and leather
Given by Col. F.G.G. Bailey
V&A: T.274&A to C-1922 [2015-2016]


Leather; Silk


Access to Images; Images Online; Fashion; Footwear; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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