18th Century, 19th Century

Beautiful shoes to admire from afar, and beautiful shoes to own

I love shoes.  And as a fashion and textile historian, I often find myself nose to glass (or computer screen), drooling over a fabulous pair of antique shoes which I will never own, and which I couldn’t fit even if I did.

These are my current favourites:

Slip on court shoes by John Thomas for Henry Marshall, 1883 - 1885, Powerhouse Museum, Australia

I want them!  I love them!  I’d give so much to see the dress they were worn with!

Slip on court shoes by John Thomas for Henry Marshall, 1883 - 1885, Powerhouse Museum, Australia

Alas, I cannot have them.

But, I can console myself a little bit, because there are some utterly gorgeous, historically accurate, fairly reasonably priced shoes that I can have.  These ones:


The fabulous American Duchess has gone to a lot of work to design these shoes and to make them available to other costumers and historical enthusiasts.  They are dyeable silk, and are fully leather lined.  You can wear them with buckles, or with bows.  And, if you order before April 22 you save $20.  Sweet!

I’m getting a pair (two if I am lucky) for my birthday.  I can’t wait to decide what colour to dye them…and how to decorate them…and how many dresses to wear them with!  And I can’t wait to see what everyone else does with their shoes!

Best of all, if they sell well enough, Her Grace will be able to offer these in leather and more widths, and will be designing more shoes!

So maybe one day I will get to have those shoes I love so much.


  1. Thanks, Dreamstress! I really appreciate it 🙂 We did indeed meet the minimum, so more styles are in the works :-). I spent last night “nose to computer screen” look at 1870s-1880s pumps, although there is a clamouring for Regency slippers and the leather 18th c. shoes…who knows, more research soon and there may be an 1880s heel out before we know it! 🙂

    • Caroline says

      I want a pair sooooooooo (oooo etc….) badly! But my birthday is not until November so no such luck in that way still… hmm…..

      Personally I would LOVE a pair of regency slippers! Though I’m sure all of your shoes will be as stunning, droolworthy, and something I totally want but have no great reason to need-able as these!

  2. Natalie says

    I need to order me a pair of those shoes!!!!!! They are beautiful!!!!!

  3. I saw these shoes the other day and it made me cry. They are so lovely, but they don’t come in wide! Alas, I had the point emphasized yesterday (when I went shoe shopping) that I cannot wear regular width shoes. As much as I like to wish that I can, my feet are simply too broad. In fact, “wide” shoes are often too narrow, and I must order extra wide widths from online shoe sites. Forget buying stylish shoes . . . I generally have to settle for whatever happens to be in stock, so most of my shoe wardrobe is plain and basic and boring. If finding regular shoes is so difficult, you can imagine how hard it is to find suitable historic shoes!

    I truly hope that the Duchess will be able to offer these shoes (and others) in wide widths! The price is fair, the shoes are absolutely gorgeous, they are very historic looking, and I would buy as many pairs as I could afford, if only they came in wide!

  4. Beautiful.

    When I was reading Lauren’s blog a few days ago, I was like, “Ohhhhhh, I want those!” But my wide feet make me wary of ordering shoes online, and even worse, as little as a 1 1/2 heel throws my hips out.

    Luckies who get those shoes!

  5. I guess this would be the best time to ask….


    I saw a fashion plate with a young woman wearing sandals…. but other than that, I have no idea if they ever even wore sandals much. Or what they looked like.


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