This wonderful black silk slipper dates to the early 19th century, with its flat sole and pointed toe. It was made as a straight (no specific right or left) and has lovely ruched silk ornamentation. Such a delicate shoe would have required some protection when worn in the rather muddy and rather unpleasant streets. Our patten or clog has a flat wooden sole with a fairly pointed toe and a black velvet strap. A patten with a sharply pointed toe (like our slipper) would date before 1810, those with oval toes from 1800-1830 and ones with square toes after 1830. The iron ring elevates the slipper and foot, thus protecting the shoe. The wooden platform is about 2” high, typical for pattens of this period.
These were more useful in town than in the country since they would sink into mud but work well on pavement; however, walking would be rather noisy. The “ceaseless clink of pattens” is mentioned in Jane Austen’s novels, being quite popular in English towns.
Both the the slipper and patten are on exhibit in Fashion Accessories: Shoes, January 26 - June 9, 2013
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