Rococo shoe of Countess of Portsmouth
GRACE, only daughter of Fletcher Norton (23 June 1716 – 1 January 1789), Speaker of the House of Commons, and afterwards created Lord Grantley, married John Charles, Earl of Portsmouth. The shoe was found amongst the effects of the late Lady Menzies of Menzies, who had received it from her aunt, and was worn by the Countess of Portsmouth with fancy dress. It is made of pale silk striped with blue, and is richly embroidered in steel. The form and style is apparently that of the last century (18th century).
The inside is beautifully finished, being lined with pale pink silk and white kid; while a welt of the latter, extending in height about half an inch from the sole upwards, and in length from instep to toe, thus prevented any danger of the splitting of the material of which the shoe was made. This practice has now, for some reason or other, become impossible to the modern shoemaker. The heel is very large, and the toe pointed.
Gallery: Ladies’ old-fashioned shoes by T. Watson Greig 1885.