17 May 2011

One, Two I Need a Buckle for my Shoe

I've wanted red shoes for a long time. (I had a baby last year and didn't want to invest if my size might change.) I ordered Burnley & Trowbridge's red shoes many months ago and waited for them to arrive as my size was out of stock. I then waited another month as my 80 year old shoe repair man put the protective bottoms on the sole. I got them back last week and am very excited, but I now need buckles.

Which to choose?

Wm Booth Draper sells great buckles and gives documentation for their accuracy but I've been eyeing them for so long I want something different. I scouted etsy.com and found the following...

...a very cool Victorian pair by Vgvintage that, I think, would be appropriate for the 18th century if they had a fork and fiddle (pictured on the right).

Green Shoes from VintageNecessities at Etsy.com
...and this absolutely fabulous pair of 1960s green velvet shoes that I had to share even though they're not period correct. (Velvet was reserved for men's clothing, the shoes are missing flaps for buckles and the buckles are faux...but I just love them.)

To their credit, the toe and heel have a fairly nice shape for the late 18th century. Plus they're vintage. Who doesn't love vintage shoes? If they were my size I would swoop them up and make a silk gown with green trim.

I then discovered that Fugawee now sells buckles. Though they don't provide documentation I researched three examples...
  • The Tudor Rose shoe buckle mimics the rose in the design of this 1780s shoe buckle in the V&A's collections (accession number M.33-1909).
  • The Celtic Knot buckle kind of coordinates with the buckle in the bottom right corner of this 1737 set from the V&A (accession number M.8-1937) as well as this 1780s collection in the bottom right corner (accession number M.40-1909) also from the V&A.  
  • Fugawee sells several buckles with rhinestones as part of the design. (Though it's not to my taste.) I found this pair that's actually American in the PMA's collections (accession number 1929-168-7,a b) that sort of validate the Fugawee version. 

Of course the buckle I fell in love with is this one from the PMA's collections (accession number 2005-68-72). Hmm, how can I obtain a repro? 

18th Rococo shoe buckle from the Philadelphia Museum of Art's collections
accession number 2005-68-72


  1. I saw that you're reading my blog and I just wanted to stop by and say hello. So, hello.

    I also like to share some fun information.

    I actually know of velvet shoes for women. Sophia Magdalena of Denmark came to Sweden (to marry crown prince Gustaf) in 1766 and she took 72 pair of shoes with her. I've read that they were made of silver brocade, white silk, embroidered damask and black velvet. But the same book (Sofia Magdalenas brudklänning i tidens smak by Anne Marie Dahlberg) also states that her velvet court gowns were for mourning. That can be the case with the shoes too. So shoes made of velvet existed (at least in northen Europe, maybe not in the USA...)

    Here's IsisWardrobe's post about velvet: http://isiswardrobe.blogspot.com/2011/01/elusive-velvet.html

  2. Thanks for sharing information about the velvet shoes. It's exciting to know there's an example with a great history.

    Thank you for reading my blog...I look forward to sharing more information in the future! : )

  3. Personally I like a little bling on my buckles but that PMA buckle is certainly swoon-worthy. I'm enjoying reading your blog.

  4. Lol... I read your post about buying your red shoes for your birthday- I did the EXACT same thing several months ago from Angela at B&T. I too always wanted red shoes. They are uber cute. Enjoy your new birthday shoes- they look really nice with the blue & white print gown.


Your feedback is appreciated. :)