Pair of printed velvet clog overshoes

Made in England, 1780-1799.

This pair of printed velvet clog overshoes featured in the Bethnal Green Museum Shoe Exhibition held in London, England in 1897. The overshoes 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 site...


Clog overshoes, pair, womens, printed velvet / leather, maker unknown, England, c1780-1799

Pair of womens clog overshoes stitched in the channel with needlepoint toes and low socket for small heel and shoe. Overshoes consist of orange brown and red velvet square ended straps to tie through a single pair of unworked holes over the shoe with edges bound in red leather. Wedge covered in velvet and heel guards in red leather. Uppers lined in dirty white leather and insole is brown leather stitched in the channel over the wedge. Heel socket is made for a small heel and there are holes in the toe and heel socket. The dark brown leather sole is stitched in the channel.

(See object file for specialist report by June Swann)


40 mm
80 mm


This pair of printed velvet clog overshoes was made in England in around 1780-1799.


This pair of printed velvet clog overshoes is part of the Museum's significant Joseph Box collection featured in the Bateman Collection a L1.184 and exhibit138 in the Bethnal Green Shoe Exhibition, 1897. Described as 'Patten; made to fit under a high heeled shoe, padded to fill up under the instep, and recessed to carry the heel; velvet straps edged with leather.18th 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'.

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

Cite this Object

Pair of printed velvet clog overshoes 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 20 November 2017, <>
{{cite web |url= |title=Pair of printed velvet clog overshoes |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=20 November 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
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