It's been *ages* in prototyping the new Tudor shoes, but they're finally done! This has been an interesting project, one with many challenges.
The first was sorting out the design. After discussion with Francis Classe, historic cordwainer and the designer of our Stratford Elizabethan Shoes, we concluded that the original MFA examples are almost certainly 19th century theatrical creations.
|Scarpine - labeled as French 1500 - 1550, MFA - noted in the description that these are styled in first half of 16th century fashion.|
We're lucky to have several wonderful original examples of Tudor footwear, some brought up with The Mary Rose shipwreck, and some of my favorite examples found in the Thames. We also have portraits and artwork depicting shoes, and a few remaining examples from other parts of Europe.
|The Met - 16th century, probably British|
|King Henry VIII wearing cow-mouthed slippers with slashing.|
|Mary Rose shoes - 1545. Just one pair of 500 (!) found on the shipwreck. This shape and construction is a direct reference for our Tudor recreations.|
|More examples from the Mary Rose - you can see here the variance in designs just in this sampling.|
|Shoes, 1520 - 1540, V&A - great example of cow-mouth slippers, unfortunately out of our reach.|
|Explorations early in the design process, merging the 19th c. MFA shoes with extant design lines. We wanted to stay as close to the MFA shoes as possible, while making the design more historically accurate.|
|Luca de Heere 16th c. depictions of common Tudor people - here you can see the lady and gentleman to the left wearing pattens over their slipper shoes.|
|Tudor Shoes by American Duchess|
The Tudors are available to pre-order November 4 - 11. As an "Exclusive," they're made-to-order, so we won't be offering these as a regular design.