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H4448-36 Vamp, fragment of shoe, adults, leather, maker unknown, England, 1580-1599. Click to enlarge.

Shoe vamp fragment

Made in England, 1580-1599.

This vamp fragment possibly found in excavations in London may have featured in the Bethnal Green Museum Shoe Exhibition, London, England in 1897. The fragment 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 a...

Summary

Object No.

H4448-36

Object Statement

Vamp, fragment of shoe, adults, leather, maker unknown, England, 1580-1599

Physical Description

Vamp, fragment of shoe, adults, leather, maker unknown, England, 1580-1599

Adults single shoe vamp of [turnshoe] construction. Vamp has a large curving cut from the throat with a section missing and is decorated with rows of impressed lines with vertical slashing in between. Side seams would have butted onto the quarters. Sole seam has had a welt or rand stitched to it.

Production

Notes

This vamp was made in England in around 1580-1599 and may have featured as exhibit number 154a in the Bethnal Green Museum Shoe Exhibition held in London, England in 1897, described as: 'Vamp of a shoe ornamented by slashing. English 14th century, Box collection'.

Made

England 1580-1599

History

Notes

This leather shoe vamp made in around 1580-1599 was probably found in excavations in London. The vamp is part of the Museum's significant Joseph Box collection and may have featured as exhibit number 154a in the Bethnal Green Museum Shoe Exhibition held in London, England in 1897, described as: 'Vamp of a shoe ornamented by slashing. English 14th century, 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

Owned

England

Cite this Object

Harvard

Shoe vamp fragment 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 15 October 2019, <https://ma.as/239637>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/239637 |title=Shoe vamp fragment |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=15 October 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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