Gold, gold, gold! Gold Shoes Throughout History

As evidenced by our latest Fit for a Queen collection, team American Duchess has contracted a bit of gold fever. Our new Charlotte Mules feature a metallic gold leather heel AND gold rand, Penelope Slippers now come in gold satin, and our latest colors of Kensington come with a special edition gold foil American Duchess logo on the insole. The piece-de-resistance of our gold fever is our special limited edition Gilded Charlotte mule, which features luxe gold-on-gold embroidery on gold satin, complete with the aforementioned gold heel and rand.

The use of metallic gold leather in footwear really became a thing a bit later in history (think late 19th/early 20th century), but gold shoes have existed in a variety of iterations for a long time.

As part of our treatment for gold fever, we have been collecting historical shoes with golden features into our proverbial shoe treasure chest. Rather than burying this treasure in the sand, we’ve decided to write a nifty blog post with lots of pretty pictures of gold shoes.

Look at these gorgeous 18th century shoes from the Met Museum! These 1780s beauties are silk, with a lovely Italian heel and cheeky gold trim.

Look at these works of art, also from the Met Museum! These gold metallic leather pumps from 1900 were just coming into fashion, and would have certainly caught the eye of fashion aficionados. The gold lamé bows set the pumps off perfectly.

LOOK! Mules with gold metallic leather heels, just like Charlotte! These absolutely splendid confections have uppers with Turkish embroidery on gold silk, set off with a gold metallic heel. Just sublime! These mules are from the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario.

Have an extra few thousand laying around? You can be the next owners of these absolutely incredible 1890s Cammeyer Couture boots in metallic gold and purple, which are currently for sale on 1st Dibs. Plus, the next time someone tries to tell you that Victorian boots only came in neutrals, you can whip out these! Historically accurate, babes!

Still need more sexy Victorian boots? These bespoke beauties are either Swedish or German, and are also from the 1890s. Designed to look like a stockinged leg in a shoe, these close-fitting gold kid appliqué boots would have tantalized anyone who got a glimpse under their wearer’s skirt. Oooh, scandal.

These gold tango boots from c. 1918 were sold by the American department store Bray Bros. Imagine how stunning these would look on a dancer’s feet, flashing across the dance floor. These boots are from the collection at the Brooklyn Museum.

Another pair of beautiful golden 1780s shoes, from the collection at LACMA. Made from silk damask and white kid leather, these quintessential 18th century shoes are most likely from the early years of the 1780s, around 1782-83.

These Jack Jacobus Ltd gilded leather pumps from ca. 1930 are so delightfully charming. The toe cutouts with a beautifully curved Spanish heel…perfection. These are from the collection at the V&A Museum.

These late-Edwardian Pierre Yatorny pumps have leather uppers with silk embroidery. These are so quintessentially Yatorny. Irresistible. From the collection at the Met Museum.

These classically 1790s slippers from the LACMA collection are also leather and silk. I’m obsessed with these.

Our resplendently golden Fit for a Queen collection is available for $20/€20 off each pair through July 7 in our US and UK/EU stores. We expect them to be delivered in October/November 2023. Limited edition Gilded Charlottes are available ONLY during this two-week pre-order period, so make sure you grab yours by July 7!

Pre-Order is Open
June 23 – July 7, 2023
$20/€20 Discount Per Pair


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