Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Boot and Shoemakers to Queen Victoria: Cundry and Sons, London

Boot and shoemakers Cundry & Sons, located at Soho Square, enjoyed the patronage of Queen Victoria (as well as other members of the Royal family) for a number of years. I have written previously on these makers regarding her 1840 wedding slippers, one of the highlights of the Northampton Shoe Museum (See: Given Queen Victoria's keen understanding that she could encourage patronage of UK designers through her personal selections (such as her use of Honiton lace for her wedding gown as an attempt to assist the flagging lace making industry), it was not surprising to see another pair by the same London shoemakers as part of her footwear collection.

Made for her after the wedding slippers, a similar pair (1840-48) is housed in the collection of (Object A135559) According to both sites, Queen Victoria had nine-inch feet, which translates in approximately a size 5-5.5 (USA),  3–3.5 (UK) and 35.5 (EU) in today’s sizes. The gold trim, laid in "stripes"contrasts elegantly with the cream satin slippers. The diminutive rosette and dainty ankle ribbons add to the well balanced composition. The thin leather soles, delicate construction and fabric indicates they were clearly intended for dancing or indoor use. 

In Boyle's Fashionable Court and Country Guide, the boot and shoemakers are still listed in the 1857 directory:
CUNDRY and SON No 1 Soho square By Appointment in Ordinary to the Queen the Prince of Wales HRH the Duchess of Kent and the Royal Family Every variety of Ladies and Children's Boots and Shoes in the first style of materials and workmanship 


QueenVictoria's slippers, c. 1840s, with makers label, Cundry & Sons, Shoemakers

QueenVictoria's wedding slippers, 1840s with makers label, Cundry & Sons, Shoemakers

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