LON-CB52AA: An incomplete Post Medieval ceramic Raeren stoneware shoe/boot dating from AD 1500-1550.

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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Unique ID: LON-CB52AA

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

An incomplete Post Medieval ceramic Raeren stoneware shoe/boot dating from AD 1500-1550. The remaining shoe consists of part of the lower leg, ankle and heel part of the shoe, the toe is now missing. The shoe is decorated with a series of stamped dots which represent stitching. The shoe has a grey fabric and glossy grey glaze on both the interior and exterior. A very similar shoe can be seen in Hurst et al (1986:207 fig. 100.323) found at Alkmaar, Netherlands which had a moulded face on the toe area, it is probable that this shoe had the same decoration. The Alkmaar example has a wide blunt toe consistent with men's shoes dating from the first half of the 16th century and it is probable that this example dates from the same period.

Dimensions: height: 83.76mm; width: 66.02mm; thickness: 38.43mm; weight: 111.11

Hurst et al (1986:206) write "Glossy grey glaze with some brown patches. Hollow shoe and leg. The shoe is round-toed. Decoration: outside the toe has a moulded and incised face with the eyes, nose and beard similar to the jugs. There are knobs representing the ankles and stamped dots around the junction of the uppers with the sole representing stitching. Found in Alkmaar Netherlands."

Hurst et al (1986:99) write "Model boots are a feature of the 16th and 17th centuries, and occur in Raeren stoneware for example (see fig. 100.323). They were good luck charms and popular wedding gifts"

References: Hurst, J. G., Neal, D. S. and van Beuningen, H.J.E. 1986. Pottery produced and traded in North-West Europe 1350-1650. Rotterdam papers six.


Hazel Forsyth writes "The Alkmaar shoe (and it is a shoe rather than a boot) has a maximum sole length of 91mm which seems to correspond very closely to the foreshore find. Both have a noticeable bulge for the ankle bone and lines of punched holes to represent stitching. The shoe style, without the face mask, represents the 'duck-bill' type common in England and northern Europe in early to mid-16th century. Whether they were intended as a fanciful 'toy' or drinking vessel is unclear - the Alkmaar shoe is also incomplete showing just the lower part of the leg.

See also Raeren stoneware drinking vessel in the form of a boot; the upper section below the aperature, decorated with a face in Bartmann style; in G Reineking-Von Bock, Steinzueg, Kunstgerwebemuseum der stadt Koln, Cologne, 1971, cat. no. 348 (lnv. nr. E44).

In the Handbuch der deutschen Rechtsgeschichte, describing German legal traditions and precedents, it seems that shoes were often presented as part of the marriage contract in lieu of a ring. And according to Herbert Sarfatij, "Tristan op vrijersvoeten? Een bijzond op Laat Middeleeuws schoisel uit de Lage Landen", in C. van de Kieft, Ad fonts. Opstellen aangeboden Ad fontes. (Amsterdam, 1984), pp. 371-400, brides and grooms in the Low Countries gave gifts of shoes to their wedding guests, and young bachelors attempted to steal the bride's shoe, which was then held as a prize and auctioned.

Gifts of clothing and personal accessories were also exchanged prior to marriage as a token of goodwill in England. Shoes are occasionally mentioned in London consistory court depositions; the material exchange of shoes cited as proof of intent."

Class: Raeren Stoneware

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Museum of London
Subsequent action after recording: Donated to a museum


Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1500
Date to: Circa AD 1550

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 83.76 mm
Width: 66.02 mm
Thickness: 38.43 mm
Weight: 111.11 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Stuart Wyatt
Identified by: Mr Stuart Wyatt

Materials and construction

Primary material: Ceramic
Manufacture method: Hand made
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: London (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Greater London Authority (Greater London Authority)
District: City and County of the City of London (London Borough)
Parish or ward: Billingsgate (London Borough Ward)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: TQ3380
Four figure Latitude: 51.50329348
Four figure longitude: -0.08515568
1:25K map: TQ3380
1:10K map: TQ38SW
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Current location: Museum of London
General landuse: Open fresh water
Specific landuse: Running water

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: LON
Created: About one year ago
Updated: 11 months ago

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