The Georgian 18th Century Shoes

Georgian Shoe, English heel, circa 1720
Three hundred years is a long time, especially for a delicate creature like this.

But take my hand and we’ll find the ghost within: a pair of glorious Georgian shoes that must have thrilled and delighted on their first night out. 

It's 1720. The House of Hanover has only just taken to the English throne. Ballrooms are full of blazing candellabras, and shoes like these, designed to blaze with them.

All this would be silver and sparkle three hundred years ago
Even inch you can see was once opulent. That cloth was silver, that lace was silver and brightest of all that silver buckle. With polished textured surface and cut out diamonds it could turn soft candlelight into glittering brilliance.

Curved and high, the heels indicate her elevated position in society, a position she has 70 years to enjoy before the The French Revolution will make such a high and mighty shoe dangerously out of style.

Pointed toes, not square, reveal the owner could sense a trend. Square toes would soon be strictly for the men.

In her a silk manua gown, what did she look like?

And is it better to know, or to imagine?


These shoes are the oldest in York Castle Museum's costume and textiles collection.

Intivation to Comment

Do you own an vintage shoe? Tell me about it!

If you could time travel back to one night in history - what night would it be, and where would it be?

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  1. I do not own a vintage shoe, but I would love to have worn these Georgians - or to wear them now. They're glorious!

  2. FAB! They must have sparkled with all that silver in the candlelight. What festive nights these shoes must have seen! Does the museum know who owned and/or wore them?

  3. Thank you Debra it is the heel I love makes a perfect heart with the reflection below.

    Kelly, there is more on the shoe collection here:

    But nothing on the owner! I will go back soon and ask.



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