Joseph Box shoemaking archive

Made by Joseph Box Ltd in England, 1868-1923.

This Joseph Box shoemaking archive comes from an important collection of footwear and shoemaking objects thought to have been initiated by the London shoemaker, Robert Dixon Box, and consolidated by his son, Joseph Box and the Box Kingham family during the second half of the 1800s. The collection ranges from remnants of leather shoes from the Middle Ages found in English archaeological sites, to intact European shoes from the 1600s onwards, ‘foreign’ shoes collected as ‘curiosities’ from around ...

Summary

Object No.

93/411/1

Physical Description

Archive, shoemaking, Joseph Box Ltd, London, England, 1868-1923

This archive of Joseph Box, court shoemaker of London, consists of correspondence and scrapbooks concerning Box's exhibitions of boots and shoes, 1889 and 1921; printed catalogues of Box's and other manufacturers' shoes, 1883-c1910; drawings of shoes, c1898; and books and magazines relating to shoes, 1868-1917.

Production

Made

Joseph Box Ltd 1868-1923

History

Notes

This Joseph Box shoemaking archive is part of the Museum's significant Joseph Box collection. Joseph Box Ltd had its origins in a London shoemaking business established in 1808 by a 'ladies shoemaker' called James Sly. From 1816 Sly's apprentice was Robert Dixon Box, the fifteen-year-old son of a bankrupted Quaker attorney. Box was to become manager of the business when Sly died in 1826, and gained a reputation for fine shoemaking through its participation at international exhibitions and by obtaining Royal Warrants. The business became known as Joseph Box Ltd in 1862 after it was transferred to Robert's son, Joseph. Like his father, Joseph started in the trade at the age of 15, but retired at the relatively early age of 42 to enable his daughters to enter society. Although he transferred the business to his cousins the Box Kinghams in 1882, Joseph maintained an active interest in shoemaking through collecting. At the end of the century the business was later taken over by royal shoemakers Gundry & Sons, which was itself taken over by John Lobb Ltd some time after 1953.

The collection acquired by the Museum in 1942 was probably started by Robert Dixon and consolidated by Joseph Box and the Box Kinghams during the second half of the 1800s. It includes remnants of leather shoes from the Middle Ages found in English archaeological sites, intact European shoes from the 1600s onwards, 'foreign' shoes collected as 'curiosities' from around the world, shoe buckles and spurs, as well as documents relating to Joseph Box Ltd.

Footwear scholar, June Swann, former Keeper of the Boot and Shoe Collection at the Northampton Museum in England was invited to catalogue this very significant collection in 1993. A large selection was subsequently featured in the Museum's 1997 exhibition and accompanying publication 'Stepping out: three centuries of shoes'.

REF:
Mitchell, Louise, with Lindie Ward, 'Stepping out: three centuries of shoes', Powerhouse Publishing, Sydney, 1997

Source

Credit Line

Purchased 1993

Acquisition Date

25 November 1993

Cite this Object

Harvard

Joseph Box shoemaking archive 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 25 April 2018, <https://ma.as/135865>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/135865 |title=Joseph Box shoemaking archive |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=25 April 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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