1920s Black Velvet and Patent Ladies Wedding Boots – 1923


Inside these beauties is a card stating “My Wedding Boots – 1923″. They are beautifully preserved, having been lovingly stuffed with newspaper from the twenties.IMG_1325I have been told that patent leather gets its distinctive shiny appearance (and propensity to crack!) from the process of painting the surface with resin then baking it. But googling it disputes this theory – seems a Seth Boyden invented the process of applying layers of linseed oil to leather in 1819. Not sure why linseed oil would crack… perhaps the coating and baking of a resinated surface came later and was a precursor to today’s plastic-surfaced patents.

Patent leather is well known as a no-no for dancers. You don’t know embarrassment like the kind you experience when you’re doing a spin in the jam in front of 700 people and your feet stick together sending you crashing to the floor! Yes, been there. We quickly learn the trick of oiling the sides of our shoes after such a calamity and forever eschew patent. Just not worth the risk!