Slippers first acquired ribbons in the 1790s in imitation of the classical sandal; pictures of them around 1800 show elaborate methods for tying them around the leg. Acknowledging their origin as a blend of slipper and sandal, the Lady's Magazine of January 1802 called them "sandal slippers" and reported that they were worn "in the morning by the pedestrian fashionables." At this early date, neither the pattern of lacing nor the presence of ribbon ties was the standard. Some surviving examples, …
These are one of the few pairs of 18th century women's shoes in our collection. The extremely pointed toes, small "Italian style" Louis heel, metallic braid and sumptuous trim indicate a late 18th to early 19th century date. These are expensive shoes made for an affluent woman of taste.