Courtesy of Centre de conservation du Québec, Michel Élie photographer

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English Shoe

This everyday shoe from the late 17th century is a latchet tie shoe of dark brown leather. More fashionable shoes of the time might have had buckles. Work shoes like this tended to have the "flesh" side of the leather turned out since they didn't need to be waxed or polished. There are holes in the latchet (fastening strap) and in the tongue for laces of leather, cord or ribbon. Early shoes were not fitted for left or right feet but were made "straights." Ordinary shoes surviving from this period are rare. This example was found in the wreck of the Elizabeth and Mary, one of thirty-two ships that sailed from Boston in 1690 with the goal of taking Québec. The militia company on board, and thus the probable owner of the shoe, was from Dorcester, Massachusetts. Their ship was one of four that never made it home again.

Date: circa 1690 
Topic: Personal 
Materials: Leather
Dimensions: L: 9.8 in.(25 cm.), W: 2.5 in.(6.5 cm.)  
Accession #: 57M14N2-13

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