Pair of Queen Victoria's white satin slippers with bars of gold ribbon and gold rosette on front, part of Chalmers' collection, by Gundry and Son, 1 Soho Square, London, England, 1840-1848.
These dainty cream slippers were made for Queen Victoria during the 1840s by boot and shoemakers Gundry and Son. They also created the footwear for her wedding in 1840 to her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Victoria had nine-inch feet, approximately a size 3–3.5 in today’s sizes. These ‘ballet’-style slippers are made of satin with a gold trim and stripped design typical of the era. They have small leather soles and no heel as was common for the time.
Shoes such as these were used for dancing and indoor wear. As it was considered inappropriate to show one’s feet women squeezed into small shoes to appear more delicate. This may have lead to painful foot conditions including calluses, bunions and, in extreme circumstances, malformation of the feet.