The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that the MAAS website contains a range of Indigenous Cultural Material. This includes artworks, artifacts, images and recordings of people who may have passed away, and other objects which may be culturally sensitive.
H4448-35 Wellington boots, pair, mens, leather / metal, maker unknown, prize work, England, c. 1845. Click to enlarge.

Pair of Wellington boots

Made in England, c 1845.

This pair of Wellington boots 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 the w...

Summary

Object No.

H4448-35

Object Statement

Wellington boots, pair, mens, leather / metal, maker unknown, prize work, England, c. 1845

Physical Description

Wellington boots, pair, mens, leather / metal, maker unknown, prize work, England, c. 1845

Pair of mens knee boots, (Wellingtons) of [welted] construction with shallow square upcurved toe (duckbill) and stacked heel. Uppers consist of a forepart of calf kid cut in one piece, probably with blocked ankle, and side seams. The back part is waxed calf with two rows of stitching at the centre back. Boots are top lined, unfinished, and stiffened with braid loops in the pocket (to pull boots on). Black leather heels feature an iron horseshoe on the outside of the heel with a row of nails at the breast and following the line of the iron rim. Leather sole features sloped edges and a black finish. The backs of the uppers are damaged.

Marks

Identification tags on sole of left boot, pasted paper with serrated edges, text in ink, '35' and '9'

Dimensions

Height

330 mm

Production

Notes

This pair of Wellington boots was made in England in around 1840-1850. The 1965 Box collection list refers to the boots as 'prize work' but specialist June Swann disagrees as the boots are unfinished and unworn.

Made

England c 1845

History

Notes

This pair of Wellington boots made in around 1840-1850 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

Pair of Wellington boots 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 15 October 2019, <https://ma.as/239634>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/239634 |title=Pair of Wellington boots |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=15 October 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Know more about this object?

TELL US

Have a question about this object?

ASK US