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Embroidered Shoe Designs, Early Eighteenth Century

Two embroidery designs for a shoe, by Margaretha Helm, 1659-1742. Two embroidery designs for a shoe, by Margaretha Helm, 1659-1742. Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK, acc. no. E.3403-1932.

Two printed embroidery designs for respectively the vamp (upper) and tongue of a shoe are printed on one page of paper. The print dates to the early eighteenth century. The page has the inscriptions Ein schuh ('a shoe') and (plate) '42'. The intention was that two of each design would be embroidered (usually on velvet) and then sent to a shoemaker to be made up into a pair of shoes.

The design for the vamp takes the form of a highly stylised, double floral motif, while the tongue design is that of a single stylised flower. The page and its designs come from a pattern book for embroidery by Margaretha Helm, who worked in Nuremberg as an embroiderer and a teacher of embroidery in the early eighteenth century. This particular page is included in the first of three volumes of embroidery designs by Helm that were printed in c. 1725. Volume One is called: Kunst-und Fleiss-übende Nadel-Ergötzungen oder neu- erfundenes Neh- und Stick-Buch ('The Delights of the Art and Industry of the practising Needle or newly invented Sewing and Embroidery book').

V&A online catalogue (retrieved 4th July 2016).




Last modified on Thursday, 04 May 2017 18:22