Footwear is just one of those necessary items that everyone needs.
Here is a small collection on on shoes and shomakers from 16th century Germany, including several extant examples and Durer’s instructions to his shoemaker.
Images of Shoemaker’s Shops and Shoes on the Move
Kuhlmaulschuh – Cow mouth shoes
Kat -23 from Alpirsbach, Textil-und Lederfunde
Kuhlmaulschuh – Cow mouth shoe.
Shoe is made for the right foot, double soled. 28 cm long, 12 cm wide at top. Height of heel – 5.5 cm, height of side – 2.3 cm. Dated to 1500-1520.
Shoe is totally worn out. Upper leather is in two pieces, front piece and sides are one piece while the heel is an extra section. Front piece and heel have an inner strengthening piece. The top cap (toe section) has a hidden piece of linen to keep the shape of the toe.
Design for a Shoe by Durer, dated 1525-1526. The German single-leaf woodcut, 1500-1550
The drawing on the left is a pattern prepared by Durer for a shoemaker and bears instructions in Durer’s own handwritting. The instructions read:
Thus the shoe is to be cut out, and the ornament on it to be pressed into the wet leather/ I want a pair of lasts completely flat at the heels/ so high the leather at the heel is to extend / double soles.
and on the reverse
These shoes are to have straps and rings / The last of this shoe is to be completely straight and flat on the bottom.
On a seperate piece of paper, the drawing on the right, is a pattern that has been cut out for use by the shoemaker
Two Kuhlmaulschuh from the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum in Munich. Photo from Textiler Hausrat: Kleidung und Haustextilien in Nurnburg von 1500-1600 pg. 218
These are two different styles of kuhlmaulshuh, both from about 1525.
As you can see from the stitching that is visible on the outside of the uppers, they are not turn shoes. There appears to be a seperate layer of leather that is inside the shoe and wraps around to the outside, forming a piping effect on the edge. The one on the bottom bears the remains of a pressed design very similar to Durer’s design.
Schlupfschuh – Slip on shoes, slashed and un-slashed
In the Alpirsbach finds there were several examples of slip on shoes, Schlumfschuh, found. Two pair where unslashed and one was slashed. There also is a fine example of slashed shoes in the V&A museum.
Kat-35 Schlupfschuh – Slip on shoe from Alpirsbach, Textil-und Lederfunde
Left foot, Leather, Length – 23cm, Heel height – 5.5 cm, Front piece length – 15.5 cm, Second half of the 1500’s
Kat-36 Schlupfschuh – Slip on shoe from Alpirsbach, Textil-und Lederfunde
Right foot, Leather, Length – 20 cm, Front piece length – 13.5 cm, Second half of the 1500’s
Kat-38 Schlupfschuh – Slip on shoe with slashing from Alpirsbach, Textil-und Lederfunde
Left foot, Length – 24 cm, Heel height – 5 cm, Front piece length, 14cm, Second half of the 1500’s
Alpirsbach, zur geschichte von Kloster und Stadt ISBN 3-8062-1336-4 Published 2001; Sited works from Textil-und Lederfunde by Ilse Fingerlin, p. 715-817
The German single-leaf woodcut, 1500-1550, Max Geisberg ; rev. and edited by Walter L. Strauss, New York : Hacker Art Books, 1974. Volumes 2, 3 or 4.
Textiler Hausrat: Kleidung und Haustextilien in Nurnburg von 1500-1600 by Jutta Zander-Seidel. ISBN 3-422-06067-7. Published 1990
Originally written in 2004