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Art & Design

English, Shoes and matching clogs, 1740-1749, Bequest of Mrs. Hope Brown Russell


Shoes and matching clogs

Unknown artist, English, England; France
Shoes and matching clogs, 1740-1749
Silk brocade, leather soles, lined with linen(shoes); silk brocade, leather soles, lined with kid (clogs)
Length: 22.9 cm (9 inches)
Bequest of Mrs. Hope Brown Russell 09.840

With their rounded toes, stout English heels, and lining of coarse linen canvas, these elegant silk-brocade shoes and matching clogs are typical of the 1740s. They fastened at the front with a decorative buckle that was removed, like any other piece of jewelry, when not in use. Such ornamentation was usual on shoes until the time of the French Revolution (1789), when it was abandoned as inappropriately ostentatious. The matching clogs functioned as an overshoe to protect a lady’s feet when she descended into the filthy streets from her carriage. They fastened over the shoes by means of ribbon ties inserted through holes in the front flaps.

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