2 / 2000

Persia (Iran) * Courtiers' rider shoe with shark skin upper

At about 550 BC under Cyrus the Great, the Persian empire extended from the river Indus to the mediterranean sea and from the Caucasus to the Persian Gulf. At present, Persia is a lot smaller, but still twenty-three times the size of the Benelux countries with about 66 million inhabitants. Scientists and religion proclaim that the cradle of mankind as we know it, was situated here. The influence of the early Persian civilisation on the development of the rest of the world is unequalled by any other. Shoe fashion developed here and influenced all surrounding countries, with a rich diversity in styles, materials, colours, construction techniques and workmanship. The 18th century shoe that is shown above has a shark skin upper with goatskin linings and a camel skin sole. The heel is shaped like a hoof to spur a horse. The sole is entirely hobnailes in a geometric design for an easy grip on the stirrup.

Research and text by : W.A.H.M. Habraken-Oosterhout-Holland
Illustration by : Colin Ball - Waalwijk - Holland