Chameleon cutwork kid shoes, 1870s
The stylish shoes have the rounded square toes popular from the 1840s to the 1880s. After a hiatus from 1800-1850, heels returned to fashion. Starting low, they gradually worked their way up to the higher heels of the late Victorian period—1 1/2" tall in this example.
Shoes with fancy cutwork with colorful silk underneath became known as Chameleons. The style was all the rage in the period 1850-1880. Chameleons remained quite popular until 1900.
The dazzling and stylish shoes are fashioned from dark brown kid leather. They are lined with ivory canvas in the toes and ivory kid in back. They have leather soles and knock-on Louis heels.
In the 1870s and 1880s, evening wear shoes were usually in neutrals (black, brown, or white). Here, the designer used whimsical geometric shapes—sections of the circle and a concave rhomboid—to create a brilliant and memorable design.
The condition is very good. The upper edge binding is frayed. The shoes have minor scuffing.
They are 9 1/2" long. The heels are 1 1/2" tall.