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Late 1800s Salt Glazed Stoneware Miniature Toy Shoe (maximum length 3 3/4 inches)
Antique press-molded shoe with thick squared high heel and four slits for lacing. The shoe is hollow on the inside and measures a maximum 3 3/4 inches long from its upper heel bulge down to the outer most tip of its toe. The shoe is hand crafted as opposed to mass produced and was made with the help of a small two-piece hinge mold. A worker pressed thin sheets of clay into the mold and then worked them from the open top of the shoe while the mold was still closed. Working the clay within a closed mold was restrictive and the clay became too thin just at the top of the heel where it joins the soul. At this junction, there is a small pin head size tear in the clay that allows light to pass through although one can not see the tiny tear on the outside.
One finished, the mold was opened and shoe was removed and set aside to dry before being placing in a kiln for firing and glazing. A ghost image of the mold seam can be seen running down the middle of shoe in a few places along its exterior, however there is no seam or worked seam scar on the inside of the shoe because of how it was formed (see all photos). There are four horizontal lines on the front exterior instep of the shoe and these details may have been added by the worker. The kinds of details on the shoe are simple but exact. The soul and heel are visible and the shoe also seems to bulged exactly where it should after having been worn a while to accommodate a human foot within a pointed toe shoe (this is noticeable if you roll the from side to side and look just above the soul where the ball of a foot would sit).
Exactly where and when this little toy shoe was made is not known. The clay is more akin to sewer tile clay in that it has some gritty inclusions not typical of finer stoneware used for crocks, jugs and bowls. The saltglaze is thick, clear and has a pitted orange peel texture. It is harder than a lead glaze and when tested with a Mohs hardness pick measured about 6.5 on the Mohs scale (lead glaze measures about 5.5 Mohs and is softer than a mature salt glaze). The salt glaze on this shoe without any Albany slip or other clay slip along with the coarse clay matrix suggest that it likely dates from the mid to late 1800s (c1850 to 1890). The shoe is from the 1800s rather than 1900s especially given its lacing style. If any viewer can offer more insight about this shoe, do kindly drop me an email - thanks. Also, there were some toy and candy manufacturers in the 1800s that used small pottery items and filled them with sweets. My current opinion is that this may have been made at a sewer tile and brick works that produced salt-glazed wares before Albany slip replaced salt glazing as a cheaper and much easier production method. So if you are looking for a nice antique American stoneware toy shoe that is at least 110 years old, then do make sure you seriously consider this example since it may be quite awhile, if ever, before you find another one just a nice. And as always, this saltglaze shoe also comes with my Docs Antiques 100% satisfaction guarantee or you may return it using my return policy for a refund (see full Return Policy details farther below).
SIZE: This small shoe stands 2 1/4 inches tall and measures about 3 3/8 inches long and a maximum 1 3/8 inches wide. Consequently, is a nice size for displaying on a shelf, in a display case or cabinet and will certainly capture attention and interest in most any setting.
CONDITION: This shoe is in excellent condition with just one pin head size small glaze chip. It is located on the outer edge of the top of the shoe and is shown in the last photo with the tip of a red pen pointing to it (the tiny glaze chip is about the size of the tip of a pen). The one other declaration as noted farther above is the production flaw where there is a tiny pin head size tear in the clay at the junction of the heel and soul that allows light to pass through although one can not see the tiny tear from the outside. Beyond this, the stoneware shoe has no other defects and no chips, no hairlines, no stains, no repairs and no restorations. And if the buyer is not completely 100% satisfied, then she/he may return the shoe for a refund (see our refund policy noted below).
SHIPPING: All US mainland buyers pay $10.40 for well packed and insured USPS Priority Mail (this is an estimated savings of about $1 to $2 since insurance & tracking are also INCLUDED in the above quoted amount for all mainland US addresses). No handling or packing fees are ever charged and fragile items will be double packed for maximum protection. All international buyers will pay only the exact shipping costs for all verifiable locations outside the continental US mainland. Insurance against loss or damage is not available on International First Class Parcels (limited to 4 lbs maximum weight), International Economy shipping or some International Priority Shipping. The International buyer will be asked to acknowledge this fact or upgrade to an International shipping option with insurance against loss or damage (email us for an insured International shipping quote). We have shipped fragile items to 26 countries around the globe to date and have not had any items lost or broken, however this fact does not guarantee that no postal mishandling will ever occur in the future. Also, please note that International import duties, taxes and other charges are not included in the item price or shipping costs and these additional charges are the Buyer's responsibility. We do offer a petition for VAT relief on the behalf of the buyer which may help reduce certain import taxes should your country allow such petitions for items over 100 years old. Please check with your country's customs office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to purchasing this item -- thanks.
RETURN POLICY: Satisfaction and peace of mind are guaranteed for all Docs Antiques Ruby Lane listings -- please refer directly to our Service Pledge and our Return Policy for full details. And this means that if the buyer is unhappy with the purchase, then she/he may return it by sending the item back undamaged and post marked within ten days of original receipt for a refund (certain shipping costs are non-refundable). Items damaged by shipping in the US are covered by insurance and while this rarely happens because we double pack, we will gladly help you file your insurance claim should it ever be necessary (to date, we have had only two claims for damage from shipping in over nine years). Of course, never send an item back that was damaged by shipping since that will void the original insurance. Instead, contact us for help and we will gladly assist.
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