Will The Real French Heels Please Stand Up?

My latest eBay acquisition thrills me to no end.  Thanks to Lauren M. of Wearing History, who sent me the link to these – a box of eight “Lynn Wood” French heels from the 1920s (possibly earlier), in white, brown, and black.

Yummy!  These heels are hand-carved wood, covered in leather, with leather tips, and just the most lovely balance and curves.  There was a bit of a battle for these, but I knew when I saw them that they *needed* to go into the American Duchess collection for the sake of future historical shoes.

The creation of French heels seems to be a lost art (as well as a lost interest).  Despite being the most popular heel shape for several hundred years, you won’t find a properly balanced French heel on modern shoes these days (unless, of course, they’re from American Duchess!).  Read more about the Death of the French Heel here.

Meanwhile, one of these eight little babies is going to travel off to faraway lands to be reproduced for enticing new flavors of 18th century, Victorian, Edwardian, and 1920s footwear. 🙂


  • Anonymous

    April 10, 2013 at 3:55 AM

    French heels are so much more lovely than spindly stilettos or blocky straight heels! If only they were easier to find…maybe one day I can splurge on a pair of American Duchess originals!

  • Lumikettu

    April 10, 2013 at 3:59 AM

    I have come to love the curve of the french heel, there's something very feminine yet sturdy in them. Too bad they are so hard to find outside of the American Duchess shoes.

  • Hana - Marmota

    April 13, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    Interestingly, I just got a (second-hand) pair of Clarks shoes that have a very, very similar heel to these. I guess these are somewhat curvier in the front (I can't see perfectly in any of these particular photos) – but that's about it (well, and the clarks heel's not covered). The closest I've ever seen to a French heel on a modern shoe, for sure! It's apparently something Clarks did a while back, because "Uncle Google" (as people on a Czech board call it…) finds all sorts of heels except this one.
    And again, I can attest to the comfort of the style! Seriously, I want no other kind of heel now… *sigh*


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