Object Type
The passion for wearing silks spread to women's shoes in the 18th century. Until the 1790s, very little leather was used for women's footwear, except boots for outdoors. The curved heel and pointed up-turned toe of this shoe are typical of women's shoes of the 1730s.

Ownership & Use
Such a delicate shoe was intended for indoor wear only. When travelling, riding or walking outdoors, women wore leather boots. Dancing offered an excellent opportunity to show off elegant shoes normally hidden under petticoats.

Materials & Making
The sole of the shoe is leather with a silk upper. Considerable care has been taken to fit a floral motif over the toe of the shoe. The side straps, or latchets, overlap and would normally be held closed by a steel buckle, cut and polished to simulate diamonds.


  • Title: Pair of shoes
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1730/1739
  • Location: Spitalfields
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 12 cm, Width: 9 cm, Depth: 24 cm
  • Medium: Brocaded silk, lined with leather, grosgrain ribbon and polished steel

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