Even in temperate South Carolina, riding in a carriage to a winter-time event could be quite chilly. The following dressy overshoes, or carriage boots, were worn over delicate evening shoes. They were often fur-lined or trimmed and feature a slit front with ribbon ties for easy on and off. While carriage boots were worn by women throughout the 19th century, all of our examples date from late 19th to early 20th century.
Two examples shown are quilted cotton with leather soles, lined with wool and trimmed with fur. Two examples are black velvet with leather soles, one lined with astrakhan (curly lamb’s wool from Russia) and the other with quilted sateen. They too are trimmed with fur. The fifth pair is black leather with rubber soles, lined with quilted sateen and trimmed with fur. All boots have a long tongue and front closure with ribbon ties.
Only one pair (black velvet with black fur) has a maker’s label: “Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co. / Chicago,” a chain of department stores expanded from Carson & Pirie in 1889. These shoes belonged to Eulalie Northrop who married John Furman Wall in 1912 in Marion, SC.
Pictured left to right (according to group photo):
1. Black velvet, lined with astrakhan
2. Black leather with rubber soles, quilted white cotton sateen lining
3. Black quilted cotton, lined with wool
4. Black velvet, lined with quilted white sateen – Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co. label
5. Black quilted satin, white flannel lining
TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from our textile collection. Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday