Shoes and Pattens
Until recently, very little was known about medieval shoes. Glimpses in manuscript illustrations and on funerary monuments, with the occasional reference by a contemporary writer, was all that the costume historian had as evidence, not least because leather tends to perish after prolonged contact with air, and very few actual examples survived. In recent years, however, nearly 2,000 shoes, many complete and in near-perfect condition, have been discovered preserved on the north bank of the Thames, and are now housed in the Museum of London. This collection, all from well-dated archaeological contexts, fills this vast gap in knowledge, making it possible to chart precisely the progress of shoe fashion between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries.
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adult ankle ankle-shoe appears associated Baynards Castle binding-stitch boots buckle butt seam calf century child's collection common complete construction continuous Cutting pattern decoration deposits described Detail drawstring earlier early early/mid edge edge/flesh embroidered evidence example excavated fashion fastening finds foot footwear front further groups half heel holes illustrated inner side insert inside instep iron joined known laced latchet late 14th late 14th-century later leather lines London material medieval method normally opening originally pair passed pattens perhaps period piece pointed possible poulaines present probably quarters rand range registered shoes reinforcement remains repair rows Scale Scale 1:3 approx seam seems separate sewn shape shoes shown side similar single sizes sole stitched strap stripe style suggests Swan Lane Table thread throat toggle Trig Lane upper vamp wear
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