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Roman Shoes by Crispianus
#31
Some new old shoes from Martres de Veyre, been wanting to do these for some time but never really had enough info untill now:

Cork Slipper, this one in red, the original may have had a black upper, I got bored with Black...

   

Here shown with a sock from the same site though again in red diamond twill rather then the original light tan tabby?:
   

Made from thin goatskin with a cowhide sole and insole, the sole has a cork core about 1cm thick, the upper is lined with a fine diamond twill, the decoration of the insole is based on a roughly shaped but similar example from York as this was missing on the original, dating is most likely late 2nd to early 3rd century, with an emphasis on the later date.

And the Famous Shoe of Welzheim or as I like to think Harlow type (well Harlows got to be famous for something) a very common style in Northern Europe, recently another example pretty much complete turned up at Vindolanda dated to 212ad ish:

   

Toe Detail:
   

Made from very thin goatskin with a cowhide sole and insole.

Measurements for both as well as some other details can be found in the following article:

Reference:
"Les tombes gallo-romaines à inhumation des Martres-de-Veyre (Puy-de-Dôme)" by Auguste Audollent.


Wink
Ivor

"And the four bare walls stand on the seashore. a wreck a skeleton a monument of that instability and vicissitude to which all things human are subject. Not a dwelling within sight, and the farm labourer, and curious traveller, are the only persons that ever visit the scene where once so many thousands were congregated." T.Lewin 1867
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#32
Fascinating
Andy Volpe
"Build a time machine, it would make this [hobby] a lot easier."
https://www.facebook.com/LegionIIICyr/
Legion III Cyrenaica ~ New England U.S.
Higgins Armory Museum 1931-2013 (worked there 2001-2013)
(Collection moved to Worcester Art Museum)
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#33
Thats what keeps me interested...

A Solea from Billingsgate for a child, most likely based on size for a girl of around 3 years old?..
Its an exact fac simile of the adult version, the upper could take a number of forms, the one shown which is based on Sulpicia Lepidina's solea from Vindolanda or could be quite a variety of others generally involving straps...
Date is around 90ad so is also contemporary with Vindolanda.. over all a quite common type for northern europe.
Length: around 16cm but was likely originally a little larger.

   

Length 16.5cm

   

Reference: Excavations at Billingsgate Buildings 'Triangle', Lower Thames Street 1974

Page 118, Fig 66, No614.

Wink
Ivor

"And the four bare walls stand on the seashore. a wreck a skeleton a monument of that instability and vicissitude to which all things human are subject. Not a dwelling within sight, and the farm labourer, and curious traveller, are the only persons that ever visit the scene where once so many thousands were congregated." T.Lewin 1867
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#34
Beautiful
Robert Vermaat
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FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
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#35
Thanks Robert

Another Solea, this time single piece from Angel Court in London, the feature in which it was found is dated 120-280ad, though this style appears quite late so most probably belongs at the end of this time period mid to late 3rd century AD... Sandals of this kind could be worn with socks with a seperate big toe either made from cloth or naalbinding (often brightly colored in multiple colours).



   

Size for this example is approx 14cm long (my estimate, the originally may be larger) so again for a small child possibly a boy of 3years? old by modern standards, also found in this feature is what appears to be a Yo-Yo.... one might speculate that this belonged to the same child...

References:

Transaction LAMAS Vol 28 1977:
"Excavations at Angel Court, Walbrook, 1974" by  T Richard Blurton

"Footware in the North-western provinces of the Roman Empire" by C. van Driel-Murrey, see table page 356
in "Stepping Through Time" by Olaf Goubitz.

Wink
Ivor

"And the four bare walls stand on the seashore. a wreck a skeleton a monument of that instability and vicissitude to which all things human are subject. Not a dwelling within sight, and the farm labourer, and curious traveller, are the only persons that ever visit the scene where once so many thousands were congregated." T.Lewin 1867
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#36
Two more Childrens shoes from the early 3rd century, these come from Welzheim tentatively dated around 212ad:

18cm long, goatskin, possibly for a 4 year old? by modern standards.

   

13cm long, goatskin, for a 1 year old perhaps? by modern standards.

   


   

Ref: "Zum Ostkastell von Welzheim" pg 54-55.
Ivor

"And the four bare walls stand on the seashore. a wreck a skeleton a monument of that instability and vicissitude to which all things human are subject. Not a dwelling within sight, and the farm labourer, and curious traveller, are the only persons that ever visit the scene where once so many thousands were congregated." T.Lewin 1867
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#37
Beautiful work as always!
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#38
Thanks Evan...

Dye/stain test, just out of the wash bucket so still wet:

   

Black colour made using Plinys Shoe Black (Vitriol) on Veg tanned leather, applied with a brush and then washed to remove any excess after two hours.... the reaction is swift...

The Vitriol stood for a month brewing.....

More to follow on the shoe...
Ivor

"And the four bare walls stand on the seashore. a wreck a skeleton a monument of that instability and vicissitude to which all things human are subject. Not a dwelling within sight, and the farm labourer, and curious traveller, are the only persons that ever visit the scene where once so many thousands were congregated." T.Lewin 1867
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#39
To follow on:

A Carbatina found in the Original Hadrians wall Turfwall ditch just east of Birdoswald:

   

Dating is a bit of a problem at the moment but it seems likely its later 2nd century AD possibly Antonine....
The scored decoration on the heel seems to suggest some "Allendale" influence, the section over the front of the foot suggests closed shoes from the Antonine wall... and the toe carbatinas again of Antonine date.
I would be interested in any input on the dating of the feature at "a" in the above map...


The original sketch upon which the reconstruction is based, it may have had a second pair of tabs now missing?...
The size is unknown as no measurements are given, though the image seems quite large and said to be half size by the author, I thought judging by the possible page size it might be something around a 40eu...

   

The reconstruction, 27cm long, in this version I've left off the possible additional tabs and done a "repair" instead where the laces pass though the thickness of the leather...


   


   

I combined this shoe with my final test solution for Shoe Black as noted earlier so the colour is in my opinion authentic for the time using any Veg tanned leather, just how black this can be, can be determined from the lace which is dyed with Modern ROC black dye... though I have no idea what the original shoe colour was in this case... any variation is due to light.

See here for more info on the dye: https://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/thread...#pid346921

Ref:

"Report of the Cumberland Excavation Committee, 1897. By F. HAVERFIELD" CWAAS Vol 15 1899.

 Pliny the Elder "Natural History" book 34. "Vitriol, Copperas, Shoe makers black"
Ivor

"And the four bare walls stand on the seashore. a wreck a skeleton a monument of that instability and vicissitude to which all things human are subject. Not a dwelling within sight, and the farm labourer, and curious traveller, are the only persons that ever visit the scene where once so many thousands were congregated." T.Lewin 1867
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#40
Gorgeous, Crispianus!  Very fine precision work.  I suspect if you click your heels together in those, you will be transported back to ancient Rome!  Smile
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#41
Ivor is really an artist I admire his work a lot
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#42
Thanks guys its appreciated..

In regards to the Shoe Black, I would suggest not leaving it to brew more then 4 weeks and then decant it through a filter(or use it up at that point) as it becomes contaminated with excess ferrous oxide particularly at the lower acid content levels... this can cause a rusty brown suface coating on the leather which luckily though can be easily removed...

Still testing the solutions I prepared, one of which was Roasted Ferrous oxide Bog ore, which has succesfully produced a black stain without excess iron contamination, I was by no means certain it would work at all but it appears it does.....

About to check on the PH values later today...

Shoes 2+5 from Balmuildy seem like a fairly close style to the Carbatina(with the exception of the toe) so may reinforce its possible Antonine date, similar shoes are found at several forts on the Antonine Wall....

   



Wink
Ivor

"And the four bare walls stand on the seashore. a wreck a skeleton a monument of that instability and vicissitude to which all things human are subject. Not a dwelling within sight, and the farm labourer, and curious traveller, are the only persons that ever visit the scene where once so many thousands were congregated." T.Lewin 1867
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#43
Ok so finally got the right PH test strips, the dye test solution turned out to be 2 full PH points different to the vinegar essence used as the base (so 100x less acidic as I understand it).

Base Vinegar essence tested PH2(vinegar is usually shown as PH2 in charts)
Copporas/Vitriol/ Ferrous Sulphate solution (Vinegar essence with 25% acid + iron) after 6 weeks PH4

so it turns out that that mixture is much less acidic, about the level of tomato juice so I dont think this would be a problem in the long term on vegetable tanned leather... at least as far as acid damage is concerned.

So to recap you can produce a Black dye/stain for any Vegetable (tannic acid) tanned leather by adding a small amount of iron to a vinegar base, the stronger the acid concentration the quicker and more effective the response, ordinary household vinegar essence at 12.5-25% acid content works well, filter after 4 weeks maximum or use the solution up completly by that time, apply with a brush...

You can also test your leather with this solution to ensure that it is actually vegetable tanned if your unsure...
Vinegar by itself produces no response other then "water" staining...

Wink
Ivor

"And the four bare walls stand on the seashore. a wreck a skeleton a monument of that instability and vicissitude to which all things human are subject. Not a dwelling within sight, and the farm labourer, and curious traveller, are the only persons that ever visit the scene where once so many thousands were congregated." T.Lewin 1867
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#44
Thanks for the tests. This is actually intresting. Is the PH 4 imediatelly after mixing with iron or takes a while to increase.
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#45
(04-14-2018, 05:40 AM)Gunthamund Hasding Wrote: Thanks for the tests. This is actually intresting. Is the PH 4 imediatelly after mixing with iron or takes a while to increase.

That was after 6 weeks, at that point I'd filtered the mixture to remove the excess remaining metallic iron left, so theoretically the reaction should have stopped, immediatly after mixing it would be PH2 the same as the base vinegar.. so theres a big drop in acidity, looking at ways to reduce it further preferably to a PH7(neutral) but I think its fine to use as it is, Tannic acid and Veg tanned leather must be about a PH6.5? normally so slightly acidic.

You can buy Ferric Sulphate in crystal form as well, its a pale green colour hence the name "Green Vitriol" its available from some natural dye suppliers, dissolve it in water to whatever strength you require, I think the crystal form is much more stable to keep.. This was used by tanners to dye leather black at least into the 19th century before crome tanning took over..

Its used by conservators and archeologists for testing leather for the presence of tannic acid...


Wink
Ivor

"And the four bare walls stand on the seashore. a wreck a skeleton a monument of that instability and vicissitude to which all things human are subject. Not a dwelling within sight, and the farm labourer, and curious traveller, are the only persons that ever visit the scene where once so many thousands were congregated." T.Lewin 1867
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