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Shoes belonging to Rebecca Tailer Byles

Shoes belonging to Rebecca Tailer Byles Silk damask, leather, wood, silk lining


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    [ This description is from the project: Fashioning the New England Family ]

    Uppers of green silk brocade with bias binding dyed the same green at seams. Soles of .4 cm-thick leather. “Louie” or French heels (flaring wood block covered in the brocade on back and sides; leather sole in one piece from tip of toe to base of the heel’s front). Crossover brocade tabs to fasten sides over tongue. Left shoe stamped MADE BY/ ROBERT DASSON in several places on inner lining.

    Rebecca Tailer (1718?–1779) was one of six children born to Lt. Gov. William Tailer and his second wife, Abigail Gillam Dudley. In 1747 Rebecca wore these shoes when she wed loyalist minister and noted wit Mather Byles as his second wife. The London-made shoes have uppers from the same Spitalfield silk as Rebecca’s wedding dress and feature pattern-matched toes and heels. Crossover brocade tabs are meant to fasten sides over the tongue with buckles to snug the shoe to the wearer’s foot. “Louie” or French heels (flaring wood blocks covered with the brocade) complete the design.