Silk satin with rosettes, ribbons and elastic
Museum no. T.562-1913
Given by Messrs. Harrods
Shoes with high heels were almost non-existent in women's fashions during the first part of the 19th century. Instead simple flat satin slippers or 'sandals' with a bow or rosette at the throat and ribbons or elastic loops to fasten them round the ankle were all the rage. However, by the 1850's the heel had begun to make a comeback.
This elegant pair of blue and white low-heeled shoes illustrates how the sandal form evolved. The satin upper with square toe and throat, decorative rosette and elastic ties are all features reminiscent of the dainty flat shoes of the early nineteenth century. However, with the addition of a small heel and some striped decoration the form is updated to something more in keeping with modern tastes.