18th century shoes

#7461 $2,450   Sold

Silk brocade shoes with Italian heels, c.1775-1785

By the late 18th century, it was the custom of the English aristocracy to make the Grand Tour of the Continent. To advertise their wealth and discerning taste, returning English travelers usually brought home the most stylish icons of Italian fashion.

With their slender heels, elegant Italian shoes were particular favorites with English ladies. Quite characteristic of super luxe shoes: under the instep of the Italian heels are wedge-like extensions, supporting the arch.

The heels are made of wood covered with cream colored silk. The contrast with the fabric on the upper body of the shoe was considered to be of the last degree of charm.

Our shoes, probably English, have gold silk brocade uppers. Even though the fabric is worn with time, it has not lost its sunny glow. The shoes are lined with beige linen. The soles are of leather.

One of the prettiest hues in the lexicon of 18th century fashion was the gold-citrine yellow of the brocade uppers, cheerful and radiant as a summer's day in Tuscany.

The heels are covered with cream colored silk faille; the latchets are of matching cream colored silk brocade. The edges are bound with cream colored gros grain ribbon.

Here is a magnificent and very rare historical artifact for a museum or select private collection. These shoes might have been worn to the Court of King George III; and would have made just the right impression of wealth, status, and fashionable savoir faire.

The condition is very good. The structurally sound shoes display beautifully.

The shoes are 9" long from front to back. The heels are 2 1/4" high.

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