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Pair of shoes

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1942 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Burlington FHW Utility (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Glacé kid leather with metal tips on laces

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Lionel Ernest Bussey.

  • Museum number:

    T.300&A-1970

  • Gallery location:

    Fashion, Room 40, case CA11 []

Physical description

Pair of ladies' shoes made of brown glacé kid leather with a dark brown suede toe panel and brown laces with metal tags. The lining is of lighter brown leather. Stamped on the inner sole is 'BURLINGTON REG'D (FHW). Also stamped inside the shoe, on one side, is 'CO 5156/5' '6719' 'Size 5' and on the opposite side, 'CC41' (the Utility Scheme mark) and 'W1' 1Z254'. Stamped under the instep is '5' and '35/U' is written on the sole.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1942 (made)

Artist/maker

Burlington FHW Utility (made)

Materials and Techniques

Glacé kid leather with metal tips on laces

Marks and inscriptions

'CC41'
Utility scheme mark, stamped inside shoe

'BURLINGTON REGD (FHW)'
Manufacturers mark, stamped on inner sole.

Object history note

These shoes form part of the Lionel Ernest Bussey collection acquired in 1970 following his death on 5th December 1969.

From Madeleine Ginsburg's report on the collection at time of acquisition in 1970:

"Lionel Ernest Bussey collected shoes from about 1914 until his death in 1969. The shoes, all ladies, were bought from ordinary fairly good class shoe shops, like Dolcis and Lilley & Skinner, and represent almost all types of fashionable shoe throughout the period, even during the periods of scarcity between the two great wars. Mr Bussey seems to have liked ladies shoes in general, and not just one particular type. His taste seems good and not eccentric.By his death he had collected about 600 pairs, all new and unworn, many not even unwrapped, still boxed up with their (dated) bills. He was fairly well off and spent a considerable amount on his collection. He had an eye for quality.

He took his collection seriously and in his will left them to a museum. I was contacted by his executors, the Midland Bank.
I had to select quickly because the house was under offer, no doors would lock, and surveyors were wandering around. In the end I brought about 80 pairs back to the museum.

Disposal to other collections There were obvious repetitions of style and since I knew we would not want such a quantity I arranged for Northampton to collect the major part, after I had made my selection, direct by van. I suggested that they sent duplicate material to Miss Buck and Mrs Moore. We could offer our spares to the same collections. Mr Riley collected 37 pairs for Brooklyn (exchange I hope for the offer of a good Chanel suit). I checked with the Midland Bank that passing to non English museums was permitted.

Mr Bussey also collected papers: our library obtained back numbers of The Sketch, the London Library some books and the British Film Institute many old Film Journals.

Our Own Shoe Collection we get many enquiries from designers and students. We show our best examples in the Costume Court, but though we have several fine pairs our collection is very unrepresentative. We probably have more 18th century shoes than 19th, and almost no 20th century material except for Heather Firbanks' shoes, all 1910-20. We are rarely offered shoes, and if so usually evening shoes or black button boots. Old worn shoes are rarely aesthetic, in any case!

My Selection I chose about 85 pairs to go through in detail at the museum. Please could we consider acceptance of about 50 pairs of cover the period 1914-1965, about 10 a decade. I cannot, I think, that unless (heaven forbid) there are more collectors like Mr Bussey such an opportunity will occur again. Nobody but an eccentric, after all, would systematically collect wearable shoes, and then not wear them! His collection is all the richer because he was not restricted to what fitted and suited him.

The basis for my selection has been the quality and design of each individual pair of shoes or boots, and representation of the main style changes not as far existing in our collection."

Descriptive line

Pair of ladies' leather Utility Scheme shoes, Burlington FHW Utility, England, 1942.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

De la Haye, Amy (ed.). The Cutting Edge: 50 Years of British Fashion 1947- 1997. London, England: V&A Publications, 1997.

Labels and date

These shoes are typical of the rather masculine Utility styles for women. Made of brown kid and suede, they are high-laced with a snub toe and thick heel. [1997]

Categories

Footwear; Fashion; Women's clothes; Accessories; Leather; Europeana Fashion Project; Clothing

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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