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H4448-49 Sole forepart, mens, leather, maker unknown, England, c1450-1469. Click to enlarge.

Left forepart sole

Made in England, c 1450-69.

This sole forepart featured in the Bethnal Green Museum Shoe Exhibition held in London, England in 1897. The forepart 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 sh...

Summary

Object No.

H4448-49

Object Statement

Sole forepart, mens, leather, maker unknown, England, c1450-1469

Physical Description

Sole forepart, mens, leather, maker unknown, England, c1450-1469

Mens single left forepart sole of turnshoe construction with toe which tapers to a now broken long point. Sole is a repair forepart and is cut and seamed at the waist with a butted seam, worn thin at the edge and now damaged.

Marks

2 identification labels on underside of sole, pasted paper with handwritten text '154m' (Bethnal Green), printed text in red 'BATEMAN/ COLLECTION', adjacent in ink 'N.1/ 5'

Production

Notes

This mens forepart sole made in England in around 1450-1469, featured in the Bethnal Green Museum Shoe Exhibition held in London, England in 1897, as exhibit 154m. Described as, 'Sole of a shoe; with a long narrow curved toe, English 14th century, Box collection'; and Bateman Collection N.1 5. Footwear specialist notes there are no shoes mentioned in the Bateman Collection Catalogue at Northampton Museum, England.

The 1965 Box list indicates the sole dates from the 14th century.

Made

England c 1450-69

History

Notes

This forepart sole made in around 1450-1469 is part of the Museum's significant Joseph Box collection and featured in the Bethnal Green Museum Shoe Exhibition held in London, England in 1897 as exhibit 154m. Described as, 'Sole of a shoe; with a long narrow curved toe, English 14th century, Box collection'; and Bateman Collection N.1 5. Footwear specialist notes there are no shoes mentioned in the Bateman Collection Catalogue at Northampton Museum, England.

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 Muthree centuries of shoes'.

REF:
Mitchell, Louise, with Lindie Ward, 'Stepping out: three centuries of shoes', Powerhouse Publishing, Sydney, 1997

Cite this Object

Harvard

Left forepart sole 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 15 October 2019, <https://ma.as/239661>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/239661 |title=Left forepart sole |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=15 October 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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