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H4448-43 Shoe vamp, part of Joseph Box collection, adults, incomplete, leather, maker unknown, England, 1580-1599. Click to enlarge.

Incomplete shoe vamp from the Joseph Box collection

Made
This incomplete shoe vamp, possibly found in excavations in London, featured in the Bethnal Green Museum Shoe Exhibition held in London, England in 1897. The vamp 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.

H4448-43

Object Statement

Shoe vamp, part of Joseph Box collection, adults, incomplete, leather, maker unknown, England, 1580-1599

Physical Description

Adult single shoe vamp of [turnshoe] construction, the damaged toe possibly originally blunt pointed. Vamp features straight cut throat with butted seams and some whip stitching for lining or binding now missing and some remains of the lasting margin. Incomplete.

Production

Notes

This incomplete vamp from an adults shoe was made in England in around 1580-1599 and featured as exhibit number 254g in the Bethnal Green Museum Shoe Exhibition held in London, England in 1897, described as: 'Vamp of a shoe; ornamented by slashing in a band around the instep. English 14th century. Box collection'.

History

Notes

This incomplete vamp made in around 1580-1599, possibly found in excavations in London, is part of the Museum's significant Joseph Box collection. It featured as exhibit number 254g in the Bethnal Green Museum Shoe Exhibition held in London, England in 1897, described as: 'Vamp of a shoe; ornamented by slashing in a band around the instep. 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

Cite this Object

Harvard

Incomplete shoe vamp from the Joseph Box collection 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 24 September 2021, <https://ma.as/239651>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/239651 |title=Incomplete shoe vamp from the Joseph Box collection |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=24 September 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}