Shoe of the Month – Showing Off

Showing Off

This jockey boot was made by G M Tebbutt of Northampton. It is a perfect miniature version, perhaps made as a sample of the type of footwear manufactured by the firm. Shoemakers also had access to lots of scraps of leather and sometimes used these to make tiny shoes. Some of these are so tiny; you wonder how the shoemaker managed to make them.

Jockey Boot

Jockey Boot

Shoemakers have always been craftsmen. They had served an apprenticeship to learn their trade and were proud of their skills, with a strong history of making exhibition, prize and small scale footwear.

From the late 18th century until the 1860s, prize competitions were held to find the best craftsman. To show off their skills, the shoemakers made special shoes with odd shaped toes and heels and hand sewn seams with up to 40 stitches to the inch (2.5cm)

Special shoes were also made for exhibitions, beginning with the Great Exhibition of 1851. These were full size shoes and could be worn if you could get them on your feet. They all showed a very high standard of workmanship.

 

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