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H4448-8 Buckle shoes (pair), part of Joseph Box collection, womens, silk / leather / wood / metal / paper, maker unknown, England, 1775-1780. Click to enlarge.

Pair of buckle shoes from the Joseph Box collection

Made
This pair of buckle shoes 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.

H4448-8

Object Statement

Buckle shoes (pair), part of Joseph Box collection, womens, silk / leather / wood / metal / paper, maker unknown, England, 1775-1780

Physical Description

Buckle shoes, pair, womens, silk / leather / wood / metal, maker unknown, England, 1775-1780

Womens pair of straight buckle shoes of turned construction with blunt pointed toes and wedge heels. Shoes consist of dark green sprigged silk uppers with the edges bound in ivory. Pointed tongue is covered by two pointed straps which cross centre front and fastened by metal knee buckles which are not original to the shoes (mid 18th century). Heels are olive coloured wool worsted over alum and soles are brown leather with brown edge finish at waist and breast.

Dimensions

Height

120 mm

Width

90 mm

Production

Notes

This pair of buckle shoes was made in England between 1775-1780. Footwear specialist June Swann notes these shoes are very wide for the the day and were probably made for a middle aged woman. The buckles are knee buckles, probably from the mid 18th century.

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History

Notes

This pair of silk buckle shoes made in around 1775-1780 are part of the Museum's significant Joseph 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

Pair of buckle shoes from the Joseph Box collection 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 17 October 2021, <https://ma.as/239841>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/239841 |title=Pair of buckle shoes from the Joseph Box collection |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=17 October 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}