19th Century Shoes Native North American Canadian Moose Hair Embroidered Circa 1830 RARE
A rare chance to own such a beautiful and scarce pair of early 19th century antique girls shoes complete with owners name label and they are straights (no difference between left or right shoes). Please see the The McCord Museum, Montreal for an identical adult pair and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London for a slightly later, healed pair. This dinky pair form the late Georgian/ William IV period come with good provenance - from the deceased estate of an English textile collector who had a fantastic collection of rare textiles dating in age from the 17th century to the 1920's.
This small pair of young girl’s shoes would have been brought back by a wealthy person from North America/ Canada during the 19th century especially for his little girl. They were made by the very talented women of the Huron-Wendat tribe either in Ontario or one of the US reserves in Kansas or Oklahoma.
Measuring a small 5.5" (14 cm) by 1.75" (4.5 cm) at their widest. It is the stunning dyed Moose hair embroidery that catches one's eye. The naturalistic floral designs are so very pretty worked in their long stitch and tiny French knot stitch. These flowers and grasses would have been based upon local habitat. The Moose hair embroidery is worked upon black wool worsted baize. Influenced by European fashion, the selling of such commercial items to traders and visitors brought a welcome salary to the tribe. The insides of the shoes are lined white kid leather and the soles are also made from leather. See the original owners hand written name label to each foot "ADKIN" in red ink below "Place the L???" We would think instructions 'place the left foot' as these early shoes have no left or right.
Condition is good but not pristine. The kid leather lining is complete but darkened with age/ wear. The black baize is in good shape with no holes and just very minor rubbing in the toe area. The Moose hair embroidery again is in good condition with some dulling/ darkening to the front design- the inside edges and outer heels give an indication of their original coloring. The only real blemish is the original silk braiding around the upper top rim; this has perished and deteriorated over the past 180 plus years; it could so easily be replaced but we leave this to the experts.
A wonderful coup for the shoe collector. A fascinating item of Canadian/ North American history.
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