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H4448-1018 Toe thong sandals, pair, mens, leather, made by the Haussa tribe, Haussa District, Nigeria, 1850-1900. Click to enlarge.

Pair of toe thong sandals made in Haussa District, Nigeria

Made by Bethnal Green Museum in Nigeria, 1851-1900.

This pair of toe thong sandals made by the Haussa tribe of Nigeria, featured in the Shoe and Leather Fair, Islington, 1895, the Bethnal Green Museum Shoe Exhibition, London, England in 1897. The sandals come 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 sho...

Summary

Object No.

H4448-1018

Object Statement

Toe thong sandals, pair, mens, leather, made by the Haussa tribe, Haussa District, Nigeria, 1850-1900

Physical Description

Mens pair of straight toe thong sandals of thonged construction with pointed toe and no heel. Sandals consist of 2 narrow leather thongs which pass between the first and second toes, under the sole and presumably tie over the foot. Two wide straps from toe upright cross over each other and thong into straps at the waist. The junction of the two straps features a large decorative button. Insole features a row of thonging around the edge, centre forepart as well as thonging to attach straps at waist. Leather double petal shaped sole features thonged edges, forepart seat and waist.

Marks

Joseph Box collection label pasted on outsole of left shoe, printed black text on paper label, 'From JOSEPH BOX, / BOOT MAKER BY SPECIAL APPOINTMENTS TO / H.R.H. THE PRINCESS OF WALES, / H.I.H. THE CROWN PRINCESS OF GERMANY AND / H.R.H. THE PRINCESS LOUIS OF HESSE, / 187, REGENT STREET, LONDON. Established 1808'

Numbers written in corner of label, LH top, printed text in black on pasted paper label, '177', perpendicular to main text, LHS in ink, '58'

Dimensions

Height

15 mm

Width

90 mm

Production

Notes

This pair of toe thong sandals made by the Haussa tribe of Nigeria in around 1850-1900, featured as exhibit number 58 in the Shoe and Leather Fair, Islington, 1895 and number 177 in the Bethnal Green Museum Shoe Exhibition, London, England in 1897, described as: 'Sandals, a pair; similar to 134, but with thinner soles; fastening in the same way. African, Haussa District, Niger River. Box Collection'.

The 1965 Box collection list notes the shoes were made in the '2nd 1/2 19thc, Haussa District, Niger River'.

History

Notes

This pair of toe thong sandals is part of the Museum's significant Joseph Box collection. Made in around 1850-1900, the sandals featured as exhibit number 58 in the Shoe and Leather Fair, Islington, 1895 and number 177 in the Bethnal Green Museum Shoe Exhibition, London, England in 1897, described as: 'Sandals, a pair; similar to 134, but with thinner soles; fastening in the same way. African, Haussa District, Niger River. 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

Pair of toe thong sandals made in Haussa District, Nigeria 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 23 October 2019, <https://ma.as/239399>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/239399 |title=Pair of toe thong sandals made in Haussa District, Nigeria |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=23 October 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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