Pair of Shoes thumbnail 1
Pair of Shoes thumbnail 2
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Not currently on display at the V&A

Pair of Shoes

ca. 1650s-1660s (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This pair of women's mules or backless slippers is very stylish. They are made of rich velvet embroidered with silver-gilt thread. From about 1550 to 1700, domestic embroidery became very fashionable and mules were often decorated in this way. This pair have a medium heel and a square, slightly overhanging toe. This makes them typical of luxury indoor wear for women in about the middle of the 17th century. A similar pair of mules was made for Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I.


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

  • Mule
  • Mule
Materials and Techniques
Velvet embroidered with silver-gilt thread, lined with leather
Brief Description
Pair of shoes of embroidered velvet, England, ca. 1650s-1660s
Physical Description
Pair of women's shoes (mules) of red velvet embroidered with couched and raised silver-gilt thread in a design of birds facing a plant form flanked by floral decoration. The vamp is lined in leather and the sole has an inner lining of white leather. The heel insole is covered with red velvet. The heels are of leather and medium height. The toes are square.
Dimensions
  • Depth: 24cm
  • Width: 8cm
  • Height: 10cm
Gallery Label
Label for the exhibition Shoes: Pleasure and Pain A Queen's Influence These stylish mules of rich velvet are embroidered in couched and raised gold thread. They are very similar to a pair of mules reputedly worn by Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I, in the collection of the Museum of London. Mules with medium heels were fashionable luxury footwear for wealthy women in the mid 17th century. Velvet Mules 1650–70 England Silk velvet, gilded silver thread embroidery and leather V&A: T.631&A-1972 (2015-2016)
Object history
MA/1/B1286 Bethel, Mrs Joan De ( Purchased by the V&A from Mrs de Bethel who found them at a jumble sale in the 70s)
Summary
This pair of women's mules or backless slippers is very stylish. They are made of rich velvet embroidered with silver-gilt thread. From about 1550 to 1700, domestic embroidery became very fashionable and mules were often decorated in this way. This pair have a medium heel and a square, slightly overhanging toe. This makes them typical of luxury indoor wear for women in about the middle of the 17th century. A similar pair of mules was made for Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I.
Collection
Accession Number
T.631&A-1972

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record createdFebruary 19, 2003
Record URL