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Pair of boots

Pair of boots

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1890-1900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Thomas of St. James' Street (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cloth and patent leather, with pearl buttons, machine and hand-sewn

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mr K. R. Harman

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Object Type
Half-boots (ankle boots) were popular for men from the 1830s right up to the Depression in the 1930s. They came in a wide range of styles, including those with elastic sides, cloth tops, front laces or side-button fastenings. Most were made of leather, as this was more hard-wearing. Contrasting colours and fancy embroidery stitches were also popular.

Ownership & Use
Boots were still more commonly worn than shoes by men throughout the 19th century, and were regarded as more formal for day wear. Half-boots were usually worn under the trousers.

Design & Designing
The most popular styles were the button boot, front-laced boot and elastic-sided boot. Side-buttoned boots were fashionable from the 1830s and were gradually adopted by women. Boots were often named after famous places or people. The front-laced boots called Balmorals, for example, were named after Queen Victoria's Scottish estate.

Physical description

Pair of gentleman's above ankle length boots made from black patent leather with side buttoning and beige cloth gaiter top. The buttons are made of white pearl. The patent leather runs up the back of the heel. The lining is of linen, except for the top and opening which are leather faced. Written inside in ink (which must, from its position, have been done before the boot was closed) is 'Goldschmidt Rothschild Esq.' and inside the button stand is written 88184.'

Place of Origin

London (made)


1890-1900 (made)


Thomas of St. James' Street (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Cloth and patent leather, with pearl buttons, machine and hand-sewn

Marks and inscriptions

'Goldschmidt Rothschild Esq.'
Written inside in ink

Written inside button stand


Height: 16 cm, Width: 9.5 cm, Length: 28 cm

Object history note

Made by Thomas of St James's Street, London

Descriptive line

Pair of gentleman's leather shoes, England, ca.1900

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Cloth-top boots became very fashionable in the late19th century. It was even acceptable for men to wear them with smart city clothes. The tops were sometimes made to match the colour of the trousers. They were also worn by women. [27/03/2003]


Footwear; Men's clothes; Leather; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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