An Exciting Update

Remember these?

That is the shoe and shoe buckle pieces that were found in the cornice of the roof during the roof restoration project. I recently asked the shoemakers at Colonial Williamsburg for their opinion on the date and construction of the pieces, and today I got their response. In their expert opinion, the buckle frame (the half-rectangle) is made of lead and dates from the 1770s-80s. The chape (the part of the buckle with the prongs), could date from the 1760s or 70s. So, the two pieces may go together and may not. The shoe (and this is the exciting part for me) is a 19th century women’s shoe! It’s exciting because even though I am nowhere near a shoe expert I managed to guess correctly that it was a lady’s shoe from the 19th century, when slipper-like styles were all the rage. Of course, the professionals were able to discern much more detail than I was; shoemaker Valentine Povinelli describes it as “woman’s black leather calfskin shoe” with “a silk bound edge, a whip stitched linen lining and a whip stitched side lining.” He says that the shape of the toe dates it to 1835-55 if it is completely handsewn and as late as the 1860s if there is any machine stitching. The level of detail the shoemakers were able to discern from just a picture is truly impressive, and I appreciate their expertise!

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4 Comments

Filed under History

4 responses to “An Exciting Update

  1. Carter Cunningham Lively

    Fantastic! It may have been worn by one of the Loockerman family. Is it sized for a child or an adult?

  2. Phyllis Trexler

    Wow that is exciting and your are so knowledgeable. I hope that you enjoyed your trip to Willliamsburg, VA. I love Williamsburg and would love to visit there during the Christmas holidays but don’t see that happening anytime soon. One can dream. Love, Phyllis

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