French velvet boots, c.1890
These stylish boots are not utilitarian by today's standards, but they were much more functional than the thin, flat slippers of the early nineteenth century. Attitudes about a woman's place in society were changing, and this change was reflected in footwear.
The boots are fashioned from soft black velvet and are lined with ivory linen. I love the turn-down burgundy velvet cuffs. They lace up the front and still have the original laces. The pointed soles and stacked heels are leather.
These sharp-looking boots were meant to be worn outdoors, to be seen by all, especially by male eyes. The provocative red and black colors project their own subliminal frisson—all the more when the boots are taken off or put on.
The condition is very good to excellent. I found just one small (3/8") split in the black velvet. The boots have been worn, as shown by the marks on the soles.
They measure 8 1/4" long.