Sunday, January 23, 2011

Shoe Catalog

I was searching the New York Public Library's image archive today, and came across these amazing shoe illustrations that I had to share. They're all images of shoes from the Nineteenth Century. 


Each shoe is cataloged so well, and so beautifully, that you can practically feel the satin and beadwork. Pretty amazing for shoes that were probably worn out over 100 years ago.

In addition to the detailed little drawings, I love how the shoes are described so precisely, "Satin Oxford shoe, embroidered in steel beads in a floral pattern; deep red shoe with toe embroidered in gold thread; deep crimson shoe with embroidery of gold thread with white beads."

"Velvet shoe; shoe with silk embroidery in chain stitch and French knots; shoe of watered silk, with pink satin on the inside, and a single button strap." Pink satin on the inside! I never would have guessed . . .

Looking through the many pages, I couldn't help but think of my own shoe collection residing in disorganized boxes all over my little apartment.  It would be amazing to have a book like this with drawings of every pair . . . Any shoe-loving illustrators looking for work? ; )

(All shoe images © New York Public Library)


Style, She Wrote said...

The NYPL is such a great resource. Thanks for posting these fabulous images. xo style, she wrote

Jennifer Fabulous said...

These shoes are GORGEOUS! They totally look like shoes I would lust over in boutiques today! This is a really awesome post! :)

ringtales said...

What an interesting profile the shoes of that time had. They are kind of like ballet slippers with heels. I am looking at them thinking, 'Where do my toes go?' They remind me of Barbie shoes. But lovely. Buttons and bows, ribbons embroidery and stripes! Oh my!

Roz said...

What an incredible set of illustrations to come across! What I find particularly fascinating is that nearly all of these shoes wouldn't look out of place if you saw someone wearing them today! I really love the detail, as well as the colour schemes.
I have a rather large shoe collection, and really have an urge to catalogue them all now!

Lydia said...

So cool. National Geographic did an article about shoes through history many years ago, and it was so awesome.