Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Shoes, 16th century
    English
    Black leather; L. 10 in. (25.4 cm)
    Bashford Dean Memorial Collection, Funds from various donors, 1929 (29.158.892)

    Shoes, 16th century
    English
    Black leather vertically slashed in toe region; L. 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm)
    Bashford Dean Memorial Collection, Funds from various donors, 1929 (29.158.893)

    Shoes, 16th century
    English
    Black leather with two rows of slashings in toe region; L. 9 in. (22.9 cm)
    Bashford Dean Memorial Collection, Funds from various donors, 1929 (29.158.896)

    These shoes, part of a larger collection of objects excavated from an archaeological site on the Thames River in London, provide an overview of fashionable shoe styles from the mid-fourteenth to the early sixteenth century. The poulaine, a long pointed shoe, remained the popular footwear, with its overall length expanding and contracting, for almost 150 years. The long, exaggerated points were often stuffed with moss or other materials for support. By the late fifteenth century, the poulaine was superceded by an equally exaggerated style of shoe that was unusually broad across the instep and toe. This style was relatively short-lived, however, and was quickly replaced by a shoe that more closely approximated the natural shape of the foot. Intentional slashing and embossing of the leather were common decorative embellishments.

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  • Shoes, 16th century
    English
    Black leather; L. 10 in. (25.4 cm)
    Bashford Dean Memorial Collection, Funds from various donors, 1929 (29.158.892)

    Shoes, 16th century
    English
    Black leather vertically slashed in toe region; L. 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm)
    Bashford Dean Memorial Collection, Funds from various donors, 1929 (29.158.893)

    Shoes, 16th century
    English
    Black leather with two rows of slashings in toe region; L. 9 in. (22.9 cm)
    Bashford Dean Memorial Collection, Funds from various donors, 1929 (29.158.896)

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