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Fashionable ladies' shoes of the 18th century were commonly made with an upper of figured silk or brocade over a thin leather lining, and hardly suitable to any attempt to venture outdoors on dirty cobbled or unpaved streets. In order to provide some modicum of protection, two styles of overshoes were used: clogs and pattens. The clog was essentially a thick sole made to conform to the bottom of a heeled shoe, with straps securing it to the foot. The patten, represented here by a classic example of the period, featured a wooden sole elevated on an iron ring, and was seen as the distinctly more utilitarian and less fashionable choice. The shape of the wooden sole can be seen to mimic the sole of the type of shoe with which it was worn.

Pattens, leather; metal, European

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