Iron patten shoe protectors sell at Hansons

Hansons has sold a pair of 17th century leather, steel and iron “patten” shoe protectors for £680 ($884).

Dating to 1695, they would have provided a (minimal) barrier between a pair of shoes and the filth ridden streets of England.

Patten shoes Hansons

Pattens were essential for protecting shoes from England's effluent strewn streets

The size indicates they probably belonged to a young child, almost certainly of noble birth.

They were discovered in the attic of a large mansion in Nottinghamshire.

Charles Hanson, founder of Hansons, said: "I'm a passionate man for history and just to hold a pair of overshoes, or pattens, has been great.

"Back in the 1690s, when you went out on to the dirty streets of town you would have worn them over your more precious velvet coloured shoes, which were slippers really. Made in England and measuring only 7.5in-long, they are really charming.

"What's quite funny really is they are almost on a platform. Compared to high heels, these are platforms that really served a purpose."

These platforms were absolutely necessary, as Professor Martyn Bennett of Nottingham Trent University’s early modern history department told the Nottingham Post.

"The 1690s was only 30 years after the Great Fire of London and the restoration of King Charles II.

“Streets in the towns were filthy.

“Animal, especially horse, dung and human effluent, from chamber pots, was usually thrown directly into the street.”

The lot crossed the block in Etwall, Derbyshire on June 1. 

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