The materials, construction and conservation of eighteenth century women's shoes

Fairhurts, Alison R. G. (2015) The materials, construction and conservation of eighteenth century women's shoes. PhD thesis, University of Lincoln.

27536 Fairhurst Alison-Conservation-April 2015 repository copy.pdf
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Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Item Status:Live Archive


This thesis analyses a 12% sample of the 900 extant pairs of eighteenth-century women’s shoes in British museums and argues that shoes are a valuable but currently underused historical resource. The analysis is supported by both primary and secondary literature and contemporary images and much of the research is presented in a visual format such as images, diagrams and tables. The thesis revolves around the following questions: What can women’s shoes tell us about eighteenth-century culture? How can object based analysis of shoes enhance our current understanding of women’s footwear in the eighteenth century? How can we characterise materials, construction and manufacture of such shoes based on extant examples? What implications do these findings have for conservators and others responsible for the survival and management of the extant corpus? By recording the complexity of shoes as composite objects and examining how they are made; from what and how their components were processed and manufactured the thesis greatly increases the current available knowledge. It proposes a methodology for studying shoes and recording subsequent findings. The thesis also recognises the potential of shoes as historical sources. In addition it examines how we might seek to manage shoes as heritage assets in the future and acknowledges the significant role of the conservator in this. A holistic approach involving both curators and conservators in the decision making process relating to conservation and preservation is given. The appendices give full details of the sampled shoes and show the completed survey forms.

Keywords:Conservation, Shoes, Textile conservation, Leather
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P131 Museum studies
W Creative Arts and Design > W160 Fine Art Conservation
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (Heritage)
ID Code:27536
Deposited On:17 May 2017 13:02

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