Prize work Hessian boot by Gundry & Sons and museum label

Made by Gundry & Sons in London, England, 1850.

This pair of Hessian boots made as prize work to demonstrate the skill of the shoemaker and identification, come 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 th...


Hessian boot, mens, mens, leather, and identification tag, paper, made by Gundry & Sons, prize work, London, England / unknown, 1850 / date unknown

Mens single straight Hessian style knee boot of welted construction with narrow square rounded toe and stacked heel. Boot consists of a black patent leather upper featuring a golosh which is extended at the back, leg with scalloped backstrap, pointed tongue, vertical side seams over breast and no back seam, upper top cut higher at the front and white beading at the front. Upper decorated with a scroll design at centre back of golosh, leaf design on the top edge with a crown and wreath below. Upper lined in white leather and features braid loops to pull on. Leather heel features a steel spur box in the back and leather sole features a cream forepart, black edge top finish, a ridged brown waist and is crow wheeled.

Paper identification tag with text, handwritten in ink, number and description of boot on the obverse and a history and provenance on the reverse, origin and date unknown.


This Hessian boot is described in the 1965 Box collection list as: 'flat seam particularly good. Building of heel and sewing of seam are excellent. Spur box well fitted. Made by Gundry & Sons, Soho Square, as a specimen,1850'. Specimen or prize work was not meant to be worn or fashionable but displayed to demonstrate the skill of the shoemaker.
Gundry & Sons 1850

Cite this Object

Prize work Hessian boot by Gundry & Sons and museum label 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 22 November 2017, <>
{{cite web |url= |title=Prize work Hessian boot by Gundry & Sons and museum label |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=22 November 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
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