Monday, December 5, 2011

Regency Era Shoes!

From the seller:

Presented here for your bidding evaluation is this rare pair of early lady's antique shoe straights, ivory leather in color with silk bows with peach colored accents!  These c1830 shoes are unusual for our times in that there is no left and no right shoe--they are simply straight according the the practices of the day.  I might add that they are exceedingly narrow as well, the soles measuring 2" across at the widest point, by 9 3/8" long.  The modern shoes in my closet are much larger in comparison, so it would seem that women may have grown larger in stature over time!  I have handled several other pairs of women's straights in the past, and they are all small like these.  Something else they seem to have in common--a word is written inside the shoe, which appears to mark the shoe for the wearer as to which is usually worn on the left or right foot.  In this case the words are hard to make out, but appear to be "gauche" and "droite," French for left and right.  (Use the zoom lens to take a close up look at the inside of the shoes!)
Most likely, these antique examples were meant to be worn as wedding slippers.  Besides looking appropriate for that momentous event, the shoes themselves were important enough to be carefully saved for all these years.  Not surprisingly, they are in rather fragile condition.  While the leather remains fairly supple, the silk bows are shredding and melting a bit.  Just from handling the pair for photography purposes, the bow on the shoe marked droite came loose.  It was only held on with two tiny straight pins, and could easily be affixed back on, though I leave that to the new owner.  On that same shoe, the cord that was sewn on along the shoe opening with tiny, exacting stitches, has come loose, mostly on the back half around the heel. The shoes are lined in a linen fabric which is turning brownish.  I just noticed that they are marked 4 1/2 inside with ink (now brown) on the fabric (a size most likely).  The soles are soiled, as are the outsides of the ivory leather.  Talk about a blast from the past?!!  Please see my other listings for more unusual and unique items, keeping in mind that I would be happy to combine shipping whenever practical!

From Me:
I'd put these at a bit earlier than 1830's based on the total lack of any sort of heel and looking very much like a ballet slipper.  My guess would be around the 1810 mark, instead.  These are gorgeously preserved and I love that tuft of color added to the front. 

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