The Patter of Tiny Feet in Pattens Take a Walk on the Wild Side

platform_shoes 'I'm on top of the world Ma!'

platform_shoes 'I'm on top of the world Ma!'

What are pattens?  And why aren’t they around now?  Well I suppose they are still around but in a different incarnation.  They’re called platforms!  pattens have a long history (see here)

Georgian pattens

Georgian pattens

Pattens were made of wood or leather and sometimes very high 8 to 10 inches.  The idea was to elevate the dainty or flimsily made shoe or slipper from the wet, muddy or damp ground. Rather like walking on stilts really.  This site is very informative about shoes including pattens.

 

14th  15th  century german pattens

14th 15th century german pattens

Some of these pattens had a metal ring at  the bottom, this raised them from the ground.  They must have been very difficult to balance on and it makes you wonder if people fell off them into the mud thereby defeating the object lol!

zebedee had the same idea, but couldn't quite get the hang of it

zebedee had the same idea, but couldn't quite get the hang of it

 

chopines a walk on the wild side

chopines a walk on the wild side

Another type of  pattens were  Chopines, made for the wealthy in Renaissance Italy, though they date to earlier and are by no means exclusive to Italy.   These were very elaborate contraptions and  highly fashionable.

Pattens early 19th cen wood and metal

Pattens early 19th cen wood and metal

The Bronte’s Aunt Branwell  wore pattens.  Coming from the warm climate of Penzance Cornwall, she hated the dark rainy windy climate of Haworth Yorkshire.  She never ever got used to it.  It was not considered  polite to wear pattens indoors so Aunt Branwell was considered eccentric for doing so: –

…she disliked many of the customs of the place, and particularly dreaded the cold damp arising from the flag floors in the passages and parlours of Haworth Parsonage. The stairs, too, I believe, are made of stone; and no wonder, when stone quarries are near, and trees are far to seek. I have heard that Miss Branwell always went about the house in pattens, clicking up and down the stairs, from her dread of catching cold.’ (From ‘The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell)

.

patten find top

patten find top

 This patten comes from a metal detecting site.  There is a very interesting story about how they were found!

patten fine bottom

patten fine bottom

 I came across this interesting fashion blog!

              A nice little Fashion Blog

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3 Responses to “The Patter of Tiny Feet in Pattens Take a Walk on the Wild Side”

  1. kcjacinto89 Says:

    nice shoes………..

  2. Heather Campbell Says:

    Dear Sir,

    I’m currently working on a new show called Nick Knowles’ Original Features in which we are following people as they are renovating their houses and unveiling interesting history about their properties.

    In one of the programmes the director would like to talk about Patten shoes and he wondered if he could request permission to use the image “Pattens: early 19th century wood and metal” that is on your website? Do you own the copyright for this image?

    We really appreciate your help and look forward to hearing if you may be able to help us with this,

    Kind Regards,

    Heather Campbell

  3. Sorry Heather, I can’t seem to find out exactly who owns the copyright to the one you mention or even find the original image in my files. Sorry I can’t be of any assistence.

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