Pair of Chopines thumbnail 1
Pair of Chopines thumbnail 2
+19
images
Not currently on display at the V&A

Pair of Chopines

ca. 1580-1620 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This type of backless shoe or slipper had various names. They were known as chopines, and in England they were sometimes called pantobles, or even mules. This pair is a more modest version of the impossibly tall chopines that were fashionable in Venice in the 16th century (see Museum nos. T.48 and T48a-1914). One of the pair is seen on the left of the image. They are made of cork covered with a fashionable 17th century silk damask. This was possibly added at a slightly later date. They have a long ribbon that ties round the wearer's calf and ankle. Elizabeth I had pairs of leather pantobles made for her that were open at the toes, like the examples you see here.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Chopine
  • Chopine
Materials and Techniques
Cork and silk damask, with stamped decoration on the insole
Brief Description
F, Spanish, 1580-1620, wood, leather, covered with green silk damask



F, Spanish, 1580-1620, wood, leather, covered with green silk damask
Physical Description
Pair of chopines of cork covered with silk damask.
Dimensions
  • Length: 16cm
  • Width: 10cm
  • Height: 12.5cm
Gallery Label
Label for the exhibition Shoes: Pleasure and Pain Accessories of Privilege Originally a form of overshoe to elevate the wearer above the muddy street, the chopine, or chapín in Spanish, was transformed into a luxury object. Spanish chapíns, jewelled and gilded and made in expensive materials, were designed to be visible below the wearer’s skirt. Signalling privilege, they were worn by both Muslim and Christian women. They caused the wearer to walk at a slow, considered pace. Pair of chapín 1580–1620 Spain Silk damask, leather and cork Given by Messrs Harrods Ltd V&A: T.419&A-1913(2015-2016)
Credit line
Given by Messrs Harrods Ltd.
Historical context
Because Spanish chopines were designed to be seen they were often made using brightly coloured luxury textiles. This pair is covered in green silk damask. The four eyelet holes, typical of Spanish design, offered another opportunity to display expensive ribbons.
Summary
This type of backless shoe or slipper had various names. They were known as chopines, and in England they were sometimes called pantobles, or even mules. This pair is a more modest version of the impossibly tall chopines that were fashionable in Venice in the 16th century (see Museum nos. T.48 and T48a-1914). One of the pair is seen on the left of the image. They are made of cork covered with a fashionable 17th century silk damask. This was possibly added at a slightly later date. They have a long ribbon that ties round the wearer's calf and ankle. Elizabeth I had pairs of leather pantobles made for her that were open at the toes, like the examples you see here.
Collection
Accession Number
T.419&A-1913

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdFebruary 18, 2003
Record URL