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H4448-4 Clog overshoes (pair), part of the Joseph Box collection, womens, silk / leather / wool / timber / metal, maker unknown, England, 1760-1770. Click to enlarge.

Pair of clog overshoes from the Joseph Box collection

Made
This pair of clog overshoes 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 …

Summary

Object No.

H4448-4

Object Statement

Clog overshoes (pair), part of the Joseph Box collection, womens, silk / leather / wool / timber / metal, maker unknown, England, 1760-1770

Physical Description

Clog overshoes, pair, womens, silk brocade / leather / wool, maker unknown, England, 1760-1770

Womens pair of clog overshoes, straights, of channel stitch construction with oval toe and single lift heel. Heel socket is made for a woman's shoe with low broad heel. Uppers consist of square ended latchets, green bound with white silk sides and lined with white felted wool. Insole is polished black leather covering the wooden wedge at the waist and sole is brown leather.

Dimensions

Height

40 mm

Production

Notes

This pair of clog overshoes was made in England between 1760-1770. The clog overshoes look expensive so may have been passed on to a maid as there is considerable wear. The ribbon is not original to the shoe.

History

Notes

This pair of silk brocade clog overshoes made in around 1760-1770 are part of the Museum's significant Joseph Box collection. They were made for a lady of fashion to wear as a protection when stepping from her Sedan chair to a house or theatre. The sides would have been covered with the same material as the shoe they fitted. Footwear specialist June Swann notes these were fairly expensive overshoes, but may have been handed down to a maid which would account for the considerable wear.

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 clog overshoes from the Joseph Box collection 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 17 October 2021, <https://ma.as/239643>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/239643 |title=Pair of clog overshoes from the Joseph Box collection |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=17 October 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}