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H4448-10 Buckle shoe with buckle, part of Joseph Box collection, mens, leather / silk / copper / steel / metal, maker unknown, England, c. 1761-c.1780. Click to enlarge.

Buckle shoe from the Joseph Box collection

Made
This buckle shoe was probably made in 1761 for the coronation of George III, in the style imitating the previous coronation of 1728. The shoe with detachable buckle 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 …

Summary

Object No.

H4448-10

Object Statement

Buckle shoe with buckle, part of Joseph Box collection, mens, leather / silk / copper / steel / metal, maker unknown, England, c. 1761-c.1780

Physical Description

Mens single straight buckle shoe of rand construction with forward jutting prow toe and covered Cuban heel. Upper unlined and consists of a very high tongue with white vandyked edge, red pasted over. Quarters with dog leg side seams extend into rounded strap fastened by a metal buckle with silver braid rose stitched to one side. Insole is brown leather folded over to form a toe puff and the heel is of covered red leather.

Undecorated copper buckle with two prong steel chape, is high curved and not original to shoe.

Marks

Two identification tags pasted to outsole, round paper tags with serrated edge, text handwritten in faded ink, '141 2 / 9/ dress', 'Kingham / 185 Regent (illeg. faded)'

Production

Made

Notes

This buckle shoe was probably made for the coronation of George III in 1761, in the style imitating the previous coronation of 1728. The tongue of the shoe imitates an early 18th century cupid's bow tongue. According to footwear specialist June Swann, the poor quality of workmanship may be due to the one-off nature of the occasion.

The buckle was probably made in the 1780s or later. The 1965 Box list does not mention the buckle suggesting it may have been added later for display.

History

Notes

This mens buckle shoe with detachable buckle was probably made in 1761 for the coronation of George III, in the style imitating the previous coronation of 1728. According to footwear specialist June Swann, aristocracy invited to these types of oocasion would wear the shoes only once which accounts for the poor workmanship.

The shoe 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

Cite this Object

Harvard

Buckle shoe from the Joseph Box collection 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 27 November 2021, <https://ma.as/239341>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/239341 |title=Buckle shoe from the Joseph Box collection |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=27 November 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}