1860s Button Boots with Scalloped Fly

The boots, once stuffed and supported, were in surprisingly good condition.

Every once in awhile something particularly smashing comes up on eBay and I get all giddy about it.  These boots were one of those “moments.”

Despite the flattened condition the boots were in, in the seller’s photos, I knew from the hallmarks that these boots were somewhere around the 1870 date.  The square toe, scalloped fly, and shape of the heel made them particularly desirable, and when they finally arrived in the mail, I was even happier.

These boots are made of textile with leather facings just on the fly and at top, and leather covered heels.

Using Women’s Shoes in America, 1795-1930 ,by Nancy Rexford, along with the plethora of Metropolitan Museum and VandA pins I’ve been collecting on Pinterest, to assist in dating, I’ve come up with a date range of 1865-1870, specifically, though for a general stylistic period, these work for the very late 1850s to about 1880.  They’re not the *oldest* shoes in my meager collection, but they are possibly the most special, because of their rarity.

Ten white steel-shanked glass buttons are stitched on with strong thread, and pulled through wire-lined buttonholes

Naturally, I’ve sent one of these delicious boots off to our factory to be studied and reproduced for the modern foot, so you can expect to hear updates of Civil War and early Bustle Era footwear coming next year.

That is one very square toe, one of the strongest identifier for this period


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