From the Vault: L.P. Perchellet Boots

Take a peek into our 14,000+ collection with our blog series, From the Vault! Every other week, we're sharing interesting stories about one of our artefacts.

What is the provenance of this pair? When did they enter the BSM collection?

These pair of boots, along with five other identical pairs, was purchased for the museum at an auction in Santiago, Chile in 1983. The shoes were part of an estate sale and came from a house that had been untouched for over 100 years. They date to 1875.

Are there any features that distinguish this artefact from others of the same period and geographical location?

These boots were made by the award-winning Parisian shoe manufacturer L.P. Perchellet. How they came to Chile remains unclear. They could have been purchased in Paris and sent to Chile or they may have been imported. The six pairs have their original shoe boxes and are all unworn.

Can you elaborate more on this artefact?

The industrialization of shoemaking in the 19th century made a wide variety of fashionable footwear available to women at many different price points. Women who could afford fine footwear sought out the exquisite boots made by exclusive firms, while those on tighter budgets acquired mass-produced yet still lovely examples such as this pair. Mass production created product consistency and the invention of the sewing machine allowed for footwear to be decorated with embroidery while remaining accessibly priced. Details like tassels, bows and shiny buttons added to their appeal.

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