In preparation for a talk at the Lynn Museum "The Art & Mystery of Making Shoes: New England Shoe Stories From the Long 18th Century," I am making an advance trip to visit some old "friends" such as the shoe pictured above.
This pair of lady’s shoes, c. 1780s (probably London, no markings or label) features white silk brocade, with an exuberant, stylized floral pattern. While the colors are faded, the palette was muted initially. The heels are covered in the same material and exhibit the leaner profile seen as the 18th century progressed. A buckle was used to secure the shoe; however, no evidence of pin holes or stress on the fabric was evident upon close inspection by the Director Kate Luchini, Assistant Director, Abby Battis and the author. The pointed tongue may have been altered, probably square. There is a straight side seam, and as was frequent, no separate left or right shoe. The lack of wear and somewhat unfinished appearance may indicate that the shoe was either a display sample or worn only a few times, then put away.
At 9 ¾” long, 3 ¼” wide, 4 ¾” high, these shoes would be approximately a size 8.5 to 9 in US sizing.
Courtesy, Lynn Museum (www.LynnMuseum.org)