Pair of boots
Anton Capek (designed and made), C.W. Coulson (retailer)
Vienna (made), London (sold)
Glacé kid leather lined in cotton sateen and yellow silk satin, buttons
Museum no. T.322&A-1970
Bequeathed by Lionel Ernest Bussey
This boot is one of a pair made in Vienna for display in a London shop. It shows European shoe-making at its finest. The slender ankle, curved Louis heel, and high, buttoned leg were very fashionable in 1900. The soft brown leather with its shiny glacé finish highlights the skilful stitching and high quality of construction.
Viennese and Belgian bootmakers produced some of the most striking footwear of the early 20th century. Their stylish boots made good display pieces for retailers. This example is elegantly restrained, but others were richly decorated and made in bright colours. These boots advertised that top-quality fashionable footwear could be had from the shops that displayed them.
When their style went out of fashion and they were no longer useful to shops, display shoes and boots were stored or sold. This pair was purchased in 1923 for 8 shillings and sixpence.