Small Brogans, the Mystery Shoes 18th -Early 19th Century

  • Details:

    Brogans are a puzzle. Too short to be boots, too tall to be shoes ~ footwear with an identity crisis.  Our pair of miniature brogans is rare. Made exactly as a brogan for an adult would have been made, 3rd or 4th quarter 18th century.  Original impressed metal buckles are at the vamp.  Beautifully studded all around the edge where the soles meet the uppers.  Stacked wooden heels.  Uppers are leather and the soles are carved wood.  The clincher to these brogans and their mystery, however, is the steel applied around the sole front and midway and then again around each heel. First thought on seeing them ~ how would a small child maneuver around in shoes that weigh about 1/2 pound each?  Second thought ~ I had to wonder how they could fit any small child's foot, in any century.  Toddler's feet are pudgy and wide at the ball of the foot, no matter how small the child may be. These brogans are narrow.  So....are these Salesmans' / Cobblers' samples, or are they shoes for kids? 

    5" toe to heel; 1 1/2" wide across ball of foot; 2 3/4" high along back of heel.  Leather is dry and old. One shoe has its full original buckle. The other has half the buckle, and a small bit of  leather missing where the other side of the buckle should have been attached. The wood in the soles has a few minor age lines going through.  Looks like all the studs remain and all are secure. The steel applied to the soles and heels is all in very fine shape.  Rare as the teeth of hens, this pair of brogans is exciting!

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