Not currently on display at the V&A

Pair of Boots

1845-1865 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type

Half-boots (ankle boots) were popular for men from the 1830s right up to the Depression in the 1930s. Most were made of leather, though softer materials were popular for informal wear.

Materials & Making

By the 1850s most boots were mass produced. Some, however, were still partly made at home. Women often embroidered the uppers of boots and slippers for their families as well as for themselves. Patterns for these were readily available, but the results were sometimes gaudy as some of the colours favoured for the embroidery were produced by bright chemical dyes.

Design & Designing

The elastic-sided boot was patented in 1837 by J. Sparkes Hall of 308 Regent Street, London, as a result of experiments made with India rubber cloth. The elasticated side gussets eliminated the need for laces and button fastenings. Instead, the boots could simply be pulled on with the help of the fabric loop positioned at the back of the ankle.

By 1850 techniques for making the elastic gussets had much improved, though the elastic tended to perish after a number of years. It was not until the early 20th century that techniques for using elastic in clothing, underwear and footwear were perfected.


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

  • Boot
  • Boot
Materials and Techniques
Canvas, with elastic side gussets, and embroidery in wool
Brief Description
Pair of men's elastic sided boots with the uppers hand embroidered in a floral design, Great Britain, 1845-1865
Physical Description
Pair of men's elastic sided boots with the uppers hand embroidered
Dimensions
  • Length: 18cm
  • Width: 10cm
  • Depth: 28cm
Dimensions checked: Measured; 13/05/1999 by LH
Marks and Inscriptions
Inscribed in ink on the sole: 'Mr Cunnis'
Gallery Label
British Galleries: Women sometimes embroidered slippers, shoes and boots for their husbands to wear at home. They often copied the patterns from pictures or magazines. The embroidered upper would be given to a shoemaker who attached the sole and heel.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Given by Mr A. L. B. Ashton
Object history
RF number is 3333/1936.



Made in Britain. The boots were donated by Mr. Ashton who was an Assistant Keeper in the museum.

Summary
Object Type


Half-boots (ankle boots) were popular for men from the 1830s right up to the Depression in the 1930s. Most were made of leather, though softer materials were popular for informal wear.



Materials & Making


By the 1850s most boots were mass produced. Some, however, were still partly made at home. Women often embroidered the uppers of boots and slippers for their families as well as for themselves. Patterns for these were readily available, but the results were sometimes gaudy as some of the colours favoured for the embroidery were produced by bright chemical dyes.



Design & Designing


The elastic-sided boot was patented in 1837 by J. Sparkes Hall of 308 Regent Street, London, as a result of experiments made with India rubber cloth. The elasticated side gussets eliminated the need for laces and button fastenings. Instead, the boots could simply be pulled on with the help of the fabric loop positioned at the back of the ankle.



By 1850 techniques for making the elastic gussets had much improved, though the elastic tended to perish after a number of years. It was not until the early 20th century that techniques for using elastic in clothing, underwear and footwear were perfected.
Collection
Accession Number
T.24&A-1936

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record createdMarch 7, 2003
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