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Selection of Medieval leather shoes. Archaeological excavations along the waterfront of medieval London have produced large numbers of shoes and other items of leatherwork in an excellent state of perservation, giving a good idea of changing fashions throughout the period. The shoe shown here on the left has openwork designs cut into the leather dates from the early 13th century. The shoe on the foreground with an engraved and scraped pattern of leaves is from the late 14th century. The shoe on the top right has a low-cut front and a long pointed toe. This style of shoe is known as ' poulaine' which means 'Polish'. The toe, as much as 10cm long (4in), was usually stiffened with stuffing of moss or hair, this style was particularly fashionable in London in the 1380s.
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