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Shoes are more than just a depiction of footwear here. The shoe is a romantic symbol that has been with us a long time. In the middle ages, a father would hand the bridegroom a shoe to transfer the authority he had over his daughter to her husband. Today, we tie shoes to the bumper of the honeymoon car. Shoes and Eros are soul mates: Fetishists adore shoes as symbols of the female sex. In the Victorian age, the peek of a shoe from under the all encompassing, many layered skirts could arouse a passionate interest. Cinderella loses her shoe and it leads the prince to her, the 12 Princesses dance holes in their shoes and finally, there's Puss in Boots!Shoe- shaped snuff boxes were commonly made throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Traditionally associated with good luck wishes, they were given as gifts for travelers and wedding couples setting off on the "journey" of marriage. (Source)
Shoe and boot shaped snuff boxes were made throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Shoes have long been associated with love and marriage and were often given for good luck. (Source)
Modern, ornamental shoes made from porcelain or resin, have become a collectable favourite in the last few years. However, a fascination with miniature shoes goes back thousands of years. Miniature sandals have been found in Egyptian tombs and fashioned from ancient Persian pottery.When shoemaking became a highly skilled, decorative craft in the seventeenth century, shoe makers expressed their skill in miniature too. Until the nineteenth century, miniature shoes, as exquisite in their detail as their full sized counterparts, became tokens of prosperity and love and symbolised a desire to share worldly goods, hence the tradition of hanging boots on the back of a newly wed's car.The emergence of porcelain brought the fashion to aristocratic circles when elegant but expensive porcelain or enamel versions were exchanged. In the nineteenth century the love of novelty encouraged the manufacture of miniature shoes in a wider variety of materials such as leather, wood and brass and brought the custom within the reach of sentimental Victorians of all classes. The less sentimental looked for a function in their ornamental shoes and in this they were continuing a tradition that had its roots in ancient times. The Romans had oil lamps shaped as a foot in a sandal, and perfume containers as hob nailed boots. An ancient ancestor of the stirrup cup was a drinking vessel called a rhyton, which was sometimes made in a boot shape. Victorian gentlemen had shoes fashioned as gin flasks, umbrella handles, paper knives and ink wells, as well as all the paraphernalia associated with smoking and snuff taking such as snuff boxes, match holders, tobacco jars, ashtrays and pipe stops.