Northampton Museum is famous for its collection of decorative arts, but also because of the historical evidence, which includes 35,000 geological specimens, 5,000 leather items and 5,000 military items. However, one of the most interesting collections is the shoe one. From the shoes worn by ancient Egyptians to British shoes in modern and contemporary style, the museum displays over 12,000 pairs.
Here are a few smaller collections, from shoes worn in ancient times in the two Americas, Japan and Polynesia, before the advent of the Roman Empire. Among the shoes from the Roman occupation, there are the calceus styles, caliga and gallica, worn by the Romanian army.
There are exposed shoes worn in the Middle Ages and Tudor era. There are also the shoes with the square heels of the 17th century and the models developed in the 18th century.
Men boots and the yard ladies shoes, from the 19th century highlight that period of history, while the shoes in the ‘20s display shoes from the ‘20s and platform shoes from the disco era of the ‘70s.
The attractions of the shoe collection
There are a few pairs of shoes that highlight the collection that exhibits the models of the period between the 17th and 20th centuries. Here are some of the most important ones:
– Blue velvet embroidered shoes of Lady Mary Stanhope, from around 1660
– Black leather Wellington boots, during 1830-1835
– Black Wellington leather boots, which were worn by Prince Albert between 1840 and 1850
– White satin shoes worn on the wedding day by Queen Victoria, in February 10, 1840
– Embroidered red velvet shoes from the ‘20s
– Ladies shoes without heels made from black leather and silver snake skin
In addition to the above, there is an exhibition that shows the shoe styles in the entire world, belonging to the period between the 19th and 20th centuries.
The shoes from the 19th century – Chinese women’s shoes, men’s Ghana leather sandals, Indian sandals, Mesopotamia leather boots, Moroccan leather camel slippers, shoes belonging to Native Americans and Turkish bath clogs for women.
20th century shoes – French men shoes, cowboy leather boots, Japanese women shoes (getas) and Nigerians Clogs.