|La laborieuse cordonniere by Charles Philippon. French and English c. 1835|
Historically, shoemaking was a predominately male profession but in the 19th century the advent of industrialization saw many women employed to bind uppers. The colour lithograph (above) depicts one of these workers as a lovely young woman putting the finishing touches on an assortment of fashionalble footwear.
This pair of ankle boots (above) date to the period of the print and are very similar to the pair being made by the young shoemaker. Upper-class women's footwear in the first half of the 19th century was often made using luxury materials such as silk and fine wool and all the details on the footwear were hand-finished. Fashionable women's footwear was also remarkably narrow.
|Habit de Coronnier by Gerard Valck, Dutch, 1690s.|
Gerard Valck was inspired by Nicolas de Larmessin II's Costumes Grotesques: Habit d'Arifice and created even more fantastical costumes for his own prints. Shoes and shoemaker's tool are cleverly used to construct the shoemaker's outfit. The cuffs of his jacket are decorated with pigs bristles, his belt displays shoe lasts and his hat is comprised of fashionable shoes for men and women.
|German or Austrian, 1680-1730|
The elegant pewter guild flask in the shape of a shoe with a square toe and a screw top was probably a presentation gift. The honoured guests or presenters names are engraved on the sole of the shoes, indicating their titles: Stefan Walder, Oberzechmeister, Franz Eglseder, Jungmeister and Alebede Marg, Meister.