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This unusual pair of boots dates to the first half of the 19th century and was produced in Torzhok, a small western Russian town that became known for its folk craft golden embroidery.
Each has a plain goatskin leather sole and is decorated with green velvet covering with embroidery in gold thread, as well as red and blue wool and further embellished with applied gold metal spangles.
Motifs include vases of foliage and arabesque borders. The styling and form show clear Ottoman influence.
Similar examples are illustrated in Sorokina et al (2015, p. 56), according to whom as many as 500 seamstresses were employed in Torzhok by 1848 to embroider coloured goatskin boots such as this pair.
The pair are in a fine, stable condition and are without holes, splits or repairs. There are losses to the velvet covering and spangles as well as loose threads here and there.
Sorokina, M., et al, ‘You’re Lovely, Dearie, in any Attire’: Traditional Festive 18th to 20th-century Costume, Russian Museum, Palace Editions, 2015.