Monday, December 12, 2016

Museum Monday!

c1850 Gilt stamped Bottle Green kid leather children's shoes 878.2016.01
 Who said a bookbinder was just a bookbinder???  In addition to stamping beautiful spines and covers of ones favorite book like these examples from the early 1830-60s shown above...

 and this pretty little edition of the Violet from 1842....binders stamped papers and cloths & leathers for items ranging from furniture to clothing & accessories.   Truly....a trip to the bookbinders shop would have been on my list of places to go if I was living centuries ago~ piles of books, examples of stamped bindings...stacks of pretty papers and shelves filled with pretty what nots~ both made up and in pieces for you to take and make your own what not out of~ just fabulous! I get all starry eyed just thinking about it. Of coarse everything came with a price, and in the early 19th c, an everyday or ordinary book would have cloth cover, or perhaps a plain leather~ calf or kid. A little more nice, something stamped with a simple edge seen above....then a little more nice/expensive, one could choose to have a design stamped in the leather~ like the two motifs on the bottom of the Violet cover, above. If one wanted to show off their wealth, they would have the stamping gilt~ as in, gilt with real gold or silver leaf, as the center motif is. The process was (and still is) quite labor intensive and requires an exacting skill & much patience.  

   Folks with alot of money and women wanting to be the eye of fashion, would be sure to include gilt kid items in their wardrobe~ such as my post from 7 Nov~ the gilt kid reticule.  Well, what kind of fashionable Mother or Father could be seen without their child being dressed to the nines as well? This brings us to today's Museum Monday lucky number~ 878~ a c1850 pair of children's shoes in bottle green kid leather, with elaborately  gilt stamped uppers. 

 These shoes are special for a couple of reasons~ the gilt stamping of coarse, color, but also the fact they are front lacing, not side lacing, as most half boots of this type were. Side lacing became very popular in the early 1850s, so these could date a little earlier, to the 1840s.

 Fully lined in linen, the bottle green kid would have been stamped at the bookbinder's, then sent to the shoemaker to be made up.  The original brass tipped green tape laces are an exact match in color to the silk tape that binds the upper edge of the shoes
  Whom ever once wore these, was a pampered child indeed~ the apple of their parents eye. A skilled bookbinder would use several different stamps together to make the floral designs, but the angels/cherubs on the toes would have been their own special stamp, which equates to some serious cash in the day.

 The sides are stamped with roses and scrolling tendrils of vines and flora

 Whatever their occasional intent was, they were not worn much as the stamping is still quite clean and bright. The gilt is only 'attached' with a putrefied egg wash mixture, and will wear away if the surface is touched much. These could also have been a display example, but the soles do show wear.

Four cherubs grace each toe, two smaller ones, and then two larger holding a bountiful cornucopia,  oriented to be facing up only to the wearer~ what a special pair of shoes!

Have you enjoyed the Museum Monday blog posts this year? I hope so. Next year I am pondering  Monthly Museum Monday segments, so I can go a little more in depth with some things~  Some folks may not realize that I am wife & Mother to 4 children, in addition to running the Museum and my business~ these two hands can only work so fast and there are only so many hours in a day! I am teaching next year, designing embroidery kits, have some exciting new embroidery surfaces to share, as well as still making and painting thread palettes and slate frames& cabinets, sculpting dolls and embroidery figures....and typing on this computer for what seems like an endless amount of time!  What ever next year brings, I look forward to it~ and wish all of my readers the best~ each second of every minute of every hour of each and every day is a gift from above~ so dont waste it~ make your dream happen! 

1 comment:

Patricia said...

Thank you for Museum Monday. Really enjoyed all the posts.