Shoes were given as love tokens by young men to symbolize their desire to share their worldly goods with the girl of their choice. This practice was normally restricted to the peasant class but it came into polite society in the 18th century when it became the rage to exchange elegant porcelain models of shoes. In England in 1971, a lifesize print was published of the Duchess of York’s shoe, which was only 5.75 inches long and 1.75 inches wide. This started a craze for porcelain representations of shoes.
top: women’s traveling and walking shoes (1892)
bottom: the Duchess of York’s shoe (1791)