Shoe horn


The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum

This shoe horn would have been used to ease a person’s feet into shoes and boots. The name comes from the fact that shoe horns were originally made from animal horn. However, this example is made of brass.

There is no manufacturer's identification on this piece, but it was most likely to have been made in Birmingham. Locksmiths, button and buckle makers in the town were using brass before the end of the 17th century and brass founding was established there by the 1690s. During the period 1700-1800, when this piece was made, the number of brass founders increased rapidly. By the 1790s there were 71 separate brass foundries established in Birmingham. The town had become the centre of brass manufacturing in Britain, producing goods for a national and international market.

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  • Title: Shoe horn
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1700/1800
  • Location: England
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 8.2 in, Width: 1.9 in
  • Provenance: Bequeathed by G. Russell-Davies
  • Medium: Brass


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