Silk brocade buckle shoe

Made in United Kingdom, Europe, 1740-1749.

This silk brocade buckle shoe 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 w...


Object No.


Physical Description

Buckle shoe, straight one of pair, womens, silk brocade / linen / leather, maker unknown, England, 1740-1749

Womens straight buckle shoe of white rand construction with visible stitching, needlepoint toe and covered louis heel, white stitched. Shoe consists of petrel blue, ivory and pink silk brocade upper featuring rounded tongue, slightly pointed straps to buckle over tongue and short dog leg side seams at waist. Edges bound in olive silk with upper lined in linen and white kid and the insole of brown leather continuing into a toe puff. Heel is covered in matching silk brocade. Brown leather sole is flesh out and stitched in the channel. This pair of shoes matches the overshoes H4448-86.

(See object file for specialist report by June Swann)


Sole stamped with 1 + 2 rings: 'U.CK'

Maker's inscription on lining: '6 over 2 wharehouse'



110 mm


75 mm



This buckle shoe, one of a pair, was made in England in around 1740-1749 and could be worn with matching clog tie overshoe, H4888-86.





This silk brocade buckle shoe, one of a pair, made in around 1740-1749 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'.

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

Cite this Object


Silk brocade buckle shoe 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 18 March 2018, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Silk brocade buckle shoe |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=18 March 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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