Bewitchingly Beautiful


What could be a better treat for Halloween than a gorgeous pair of shoes? How about these delectible black satin shoes, c. 1895, with elegant beading. The beading goes around the shoe opening and over the toe, with a sculpted three-layered “bow” in front. The 3” Louis heel sets off the fashionably pointed vamp. These shoes bear a label from “Hook, Knowles & Co. Ltd.,” a London shoemaking establishment on Bond Street which had a reputation for being the most fashionable shopping district in the city. It was definitely the place to shop for shoes. By 1890, they had few equals in the business and in 1902 they launched their ready-to-wear line.

Our exquisite shoes belonged to Ethel Sanford, wife of John Sanford, a member of the Bigelow-Sanford family of New York. Ethel, also née Sanford, was the daughter of Henry Sanford who founded Sanford, Florida. This wealthy couple traveled extensively and certainly purchased these shoes while in London. The Sanfords also owned a summer home in Aiken, South Carolina, where their daughter, Gertrude was born. She later married Sidney Legendre, purchased Medway Plantation in the Lowcountry, and donated many family items to the Charleston Museum, including these stylish slippers.