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Not currently on display at the V&A

Pair of Wedding Boots

1865 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Object Type
Ankle boots were introduced in about 1804 for women's fashionable wear. They were sometimes decorated with silk rosettes, particularly for special occasions such as weddings. The fashion for square toes lasted from 1825 to the 1870s. These boots have thin flat soles but heels were coming back in to fashion for ladies footwear.

Ownership & Use
These boots and a wedding dress and veil also in the museum's collection (T.43&A-1947) were worn by Eliza Penelope Clay at her marriage to Joseph Bright at St James's Church, Piccadilly, London on 16th February 1865. White boots were also worn for more everyday wear. They were often made of soft kid or silk satin. The Lady's Magazine in 1858 referred to 'elastic-sided boots for daywear and evening shoes with or without small heels and rosettes'.

Design & Designing
The elastic inner side gussets on these boots eliminated the need for laces and button fastenings. The elastic-sided boot was patented by J. Sparkes-Hall of No. 308 Regent Street in 1837 as a result of experiments made with india rubber cloth. By 1850 techniques for making elastic gussets had much improved although the elastic still tended to perish. Each boot also has a cork insole inserted inside probably to help keep out the damp. One of the insoles is inscribed: 'Superior Quality Cork Soles'.

People
J. Sparkes Hall presented his prototypes for elastic-sided boots to Queen Victoria. In his prospectus he claimed that she 'walks in them daily and thus gives the strongest proof of the value she attaches to the invention'.

Object details

Categories
Object type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Wedding Shoe
  • Wedding Shoe
Materials and techniques
Kid upper, with elasticated inner side gusset and silk rosette
Brief description
Wedding boots
Physical description
Each boot has a cork insole inserted inside probably to help keep out the damp. One of the insoles is inscribed: 'Superior Quality Cork Soles'.
Dimensions
  • Length: 25.5cm
Gallery label
Wedding dress and lace veil Britain, 1864-5 Ankle boots: France or Britain Like many wealthy brides in the 1860s, Eliza Penelope Clay chose a white satin dress embellished with Honiton lace for her marriage to Joseph Bright at St James's Church, Piccadilly, in February 1865. The bride's veil has been skilfully designed so that the pattern is on the outside when the veil is folded over. Dress: silk satin, trimmed with Honiton appliqué lace, the bodice lined with silk Veil: Honiton appliqué lace Ankle boots: leather, with elastic gussets, trimmed with silk Bequeathed by Miss Helen G. Bright V&A: T.43 to C-1947(2011)
Credit line
Bequeathed by Miss H. G. Bright
Summary
Object Type
Ankle boots were introduced in about 1804 for women's fashionable wear. They were sometimes decorated with silk rosettes, particularly for special occasions such as weddings. The fashion for square toes lasted from 1825 to the 1870s. These boots have thin flat soles but heels were coming back in to fashion for ladies footwear.

Ownership & Use
These boots and a wedding dress and veil also in the museum's collection (T.43&A-1947) were worn by Eliza Penelope Clay at her marriage to Joseph Bright at St James's Church, Piccadilly, London on 16th February 1865. White boots were also worn for more everyday wear. They were often made of soft kid or silk satin. The Lady's Magazine in 1858 referred to 'elastic-sided boots for daywear and evening shoes with or without small heels and rosettes'.

Design & Designing
The elastic inner side gussets on these boots eliminated the need for laces and button fastenings. The elastic-sided boot was patented by J. Sparkes-Hall of No. 308 Regent Street in 1837 as a result of experiments made with india rubber cloth. By 1850 techniques for making elastic gussets had much improved although the elastic still tended to perish. Each boot also has a cork insole inserted inside probably to help keep out the damp. One of the insoles is inscribed: 'Superior Quality Cork Soles'.

People
J. Sparkes Hall presented his prototypes for elastic-sided boots to Queen Victoria. In his prospectus he claimed that she 'walks in them daily and thus gives the strongest proof of the value she attaches to the invention'.
Collection
Accession number
T.43B&C-1947

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Record createdJune 25, 2003
Record URL
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