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H4448-81 Cromwell buckle shoes (pair), part of Joseph Box collection, womens, silk / leather / linen / satin / brass / metal, by Joseph Box, London, England, c. 1890. Click to enlarge.

Pair of Cromwell buckle shoes by Joseph Box

Made
This pair of silk brocade Cromwell 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 …

Summary

Object No.

H4448-81

Object Statement

Cromwell buckle shoes (pair), part of Joseph Box collection, womens, silk / leather / linen / satin / brass / metal, by Joseph Box, London, England, c. 1890

Physical Description

Cromwell buckle shoes, pair, womens, silk brocade / leather / linen / satin / brass, made by Joseph Box, London, England, c. 1890

Pair of womens Cromwell style buckle shoes of turnshoe construction with pointed toes and covered louis heel. Shoes consist of uppers of brown fawn and gold floral silk brocade with part of a botah motif, winged vamps with flared peaked tongue seamed on and an inside pointed strap, each extended for a buckle which is now missing. Outside strap is cut square and shorter than inside strap. Stitching possibly to attach the buckle appears to be later work.Top edges are bound with uppers lined in linen, ivory satin and white kid and feature a stiffener. Sock in white kid with heels covered in matching brocade featuring a brass nailed top piece. Leather sole is polished brown with wheeling at the back of tread and sides of waist.

(See object file for specialist report by June Swann)

Marks

Lettering on outsole, stamped, 'BO' (possibly Box)

Partly illegible makers mark stamped in gold on sock; 'Joseph Box...Regent St W...'

Dimensions

Height

140 mm

Width

70 mm

Production

Notes

This pair of Cromwell buckle shoes was made by Joseph Box in England in around 1885-1895.

History

Notes

This pair of silk brocade buckle shoes made in around 1885-1895 is 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 Cromwell buckle shoes by Joseph Box 2022, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 19 August 2022, <https://ma.as/239847>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/239847 |title=Pair of Cromwell buckle shoes by Joseph Box |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=19 August 2022 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}