« PreviousContinue »
ON THE MORE MODERN FORMS OF FOREIGN BOOTS
PON critically examining the various forms
assumed by the coverings for the feet adopted by the nations around us, we shall find that they were in no small degree modified by the circumstances with which they were surrounded, or the necessities of the climate they inhabited.
Thus the northern nations enswathed their legs in skins, and used the same material for the shoes, binding the whole in warm folds about the leg, the thongs being fastened to them in the manner represented in plate IV., fig. 1, and which is copied from a full length figure of a Russian boor, in 1768. The sandal of a Russian lady of the same period, is given in the same plate, fig. 2, and the men of Friesland at the same time, wore sandals or shoes of a similar construction, the common people generally wearing a close leathern shoe and clog, something like those in use in the
middle ages, one delineated in fig. 3 of our plate, and is represented on the feet of a countrywoman, in the curious series of costumes of Finland, engraved in “Jeffery's Collection of the Dresses of different Nations," published in 1757, and which were copied from some very rare prints, at least a century earlier in point of date. Another female's shoe is given in fig. 4; it is a low slipperlike shoe, and is secured by a band across the instep, having an ornamental clasp, like a brooch, to secure it on each side of the foot; it was probably a coarsely-made piece of jewelry, with glass or cheap stones set around it; as the people of this country at that time were fond of such showy decorations, and particularly upon their shoes. The noblemen and ladies always decorated theirs with ornaments and jewels all over the upper surface, of which we give two specimens in figs. 5 and 6: the former upon the foot of a nobleman, the latter upon that of a matron of the upper classes. It will be seen, that both are very elegant, and must have been very showy wear.
The boots of an Hungarian gentleman, in 1700, may be seen in fig. 7, of plate IV., and such boots were common to Bohemia at the same period. They are chiefly remarkable for the way in which they are cut upward from the middle
of the thigh to the knee, and then curl over in front of the leg.
A Tartarian lady of 1577, is exhibited by John Wiegel, the engraver of Nuremburgh, in his work on dress, in the boots delineated in fig. 8. They are remarkable for the sole to which they are affixed, and which was, no doubt, formed of some strong substance, probably with metallic hooks to assist the wearer in walking a mountainous country where frosts abound.
Descending toward the south, we shall find a lighter sort of shoe in use, and one partaking more of the character of a slipper, used more as a protection for the sole of the foot in walking, than as an article of warmth. Thus the shoes generally used in the East, scarcely do more than cover the toes, yet, from constant use, the natives hardly ever allow them to slip from the feet. The learned author of the notes to "Knight's Pictorial Bible,”. speaking from personal observation of these arti
“The common shoe in Turkey or Arabia, is ļike our slipper with quarters, except that it has & sharp and prolonged toe turned up." No shoes in western Asia have ears, and they are generally of colored leather-red or yellow morocco in Turkey and Arabia, and green shagreen in Persia. In the latter country, the shoe or slipper in general