|(I have to say that I'm suspicious of this pair; they may be nineteenth-century.)|
Almost all of the shoes from this period were made on straight lasts, meaning that there was no differentiation between the left and right foot; the shoes would come to be known as "straights". This method was the common practice until as late as the 1850s.
Most of these surviving shoes do so without their buckles, or have been given replacements. Shoe buckles were an important part of a person's attire - male or female - and said a lot about the owner's prestige or lack of it. Some were very plain while others were quite elaborate. For dress shoes, most were of silver set with paste stones. The shoe buckles of the most fortunate were often quite costly, were actually proper jewelry and, when they went out of usage, would have been broken up and used to make some other fine adornment. They certainly wouldn't have been left to moulder along with an... old shoe.
|These shoes from the 1790s show the beginning of the transition to heelless footwear, which would be the mode for more than fifty years.|
|Shoes, shoe buckles, and stockings of the period.|
|Shoes with pattens. Pattens, worn from the Middle Ages and even into the early twentieth century, were a protective overshoe for outdoor use.|
|Shoes said to have belonged to Marie Antoinette.|