D2045. Pair of Blue and White Models of Shoes
Delft, circa 1760
Each painted on the front and sides with floral scrollwork, a blossom on the molded flower on the front, the dotted-edged sole continuing around the arch and the heel washed in blue.
Heights: 4.2 cm. (1.7 in.)
Lengths: 7.8 cm. (3.1 in.)
Miniature ceramic shoes like these were sold at annual fairs and markets. Although most examples are undated, some bear dates and initials, indicating that they were offered as gifts on special occasions. Such shoes held romantic, erotic, and whimsical connotations that can be related to the visual puns associated with shoes in contemporary Dutch painting, as well as to the tradition of brides receiving and wearing clogs during the wedding ceremony. The connotation attached to shoes in the seventeenth century as well as in the present ceramic pair indicates that such ceramic shoes may have been exchanged by lovers as a symbol of good luck in marriage.
- Some rim fritting