This type of backless shoe or slipper had various names. They were known as chopines, and in England they were sometimes called pantobles, or even mules. This pair is a more modest version of the impossibly tall chopines that were fashionable in Venice in the 16th century (see Museum nos. T.48 and T48a-1914). One of the pair is seen on the left of the image. They are made of cork covered with a fashionable 17th century silk damask. This was possibly added at a slightly later date. They have a long ribbon that ties round the wearer's calf and ankle. Elizabeth I had pairs of leather pantobles made for her that were open at the toes, like the examples you see here.


  • Title: Pair of chopines
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1575/1620
  • Location: Spain
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 16 cm, Width: 10 cm, Height: 12.5 cm
  • Provenance: Given by Messrs Harrods Ltd.
  • Medium: Cork and silk damask, with stamped decoration on the insole

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