Chopines, silk, metal, Italian


silk, metal
Credit Line:
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. Clarence R. Hyde, 1928
Accession Number:
Not on view
The chopine was a tall clog worn in primarily in Venice from the 15th to the early 17th centuries. While most examples are between three and five inches tall, some specimens of over a foot tall survive. Historical accounts testify to the necessity of the assistance of a pair of ladies maids to walk in the more extreme examples. As can be appreciated from the elaborate and fragile materials, the purpose of the chopine was as much to elevate the lady's sartorial reputation as to elevate her skirt from the dirt of the streets and to increase her physical prominence. While this single chopine is very typical of the form in design and decoration, the blue color is less commonly seen than red or green. An additional feature of note also found on many other surviving examples is the leather sock lining with incised pattern of concentric squares.