Skip navigation
Woman's Shoes
about 1746
Original Owner:Originally owned by Hannah Edwards , American, 1713 - 1773
Shoemaker:Made by Hannah Edwards , American, 1713 - 1773
Hand-stitched and embroidered silk and metallic threads on silk and linen, leather, and wood
Primary Dimensions (height x width x depth): 4 3/4 x 3 1/8 x 9in. (12.1 x 7.9 x 22.9cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Hannah Whittlesey
Gallery Copy: Two old labels attribute the embroidery of these shoes alternatively to Hannah Edwards and her older sister, Mary. Both attributions may be accurate. Two separate pairs of hands were almost certainly engaged in the embroidery. Perhaps each sister worked one shoe, in order to have them ready in time for Hannah’s 1746 wedding. Mary and Hannah Edwards, two of the ten daughters of Esther Stoddard and the Rev. Timothy Edwards, had access to the highest levels of education available to colonial New England women. Belief that intellectual development fostered spiritual improvement, plus the availability of books and writing materials in a minister’s home, meant that women in clerical families typically had better than average educational opportunities.
Description: White silk shoes, embroidered in silk and metallic threads with stylized floral designs. The shoes have slightly upturned, pointed toes and a Louis heel. Two tabs extending up the sides are punched for a ribbon tie. The tongue is wide and square. A white kid rand is stitched between the sole and the upper around the vamp of each shoe. The leather sole is continuous over the front of the heel. The heels are covered with white silk satin. The shoes are straight, not right and left. A silk tape binds the edges of the upper. The silk embroidery is worked through the plain-woven linen lining. The stitches include long-and-short, outline, couching, and French knots. Each toe is worked with a thistle, from which emanates a stylized iris flower with a green frond curving over it. Other flowers include carnations and less identifiable species. Colors include pink, blue, red, and green in the silk, and gold metallic thread.
Object Number: 1840.7.1a,b
Not Currently on View
Send to a Friend