A pair of foxy embroidered slippers

This fabulous foxy pair of embroidered slippers were recently donated to the ZTC study collection. They are possibly 19th century and are very well worn and a little moth eaten. Their fox faces are full of character and the sides of slippers are even embellished with beautiful fox tails.

The story of where they came from and whose former collection they came from is one of life’s wonderful coincidences. A recent phonecall to the studio came in from a generous lady looking to place her mother’s small costume collection somewhere where it would be appreciated. It was not felt to be of museum quality and various places she’d tried first had suggested ZTC (we have a small study collection for reference, experimentation and for student study). The caller’s mother had taught needlework and dressmaking during her working life and been a school examiner too, then after her retirement she had been a museum volunteer in a dress collection at the Museum of London in the 1990s.

Zenzie’s first museum job was at the Museum of London in 1991 and realised the caller’s mother was the lovely Barbara Owen, a really kind, wonderful volunteer who was very sweet to Zenzie in her early days, resulting in a working friendship over the course of about seven years. Mrs Owen was also involved in the Museum of London’s Friends of Fashion, helping to organise their fundraising events.

We were very delighted give these slippers and the rest of the small collection a home – many have provenance with family photos and information attached – they make a really wonderful addition to our study collection and are already being used by our students. It is an honour to give Mrs Owen’s little collection a home and to remember her through these items – she was the perfect museum volunteer