THE early intention with regard to publishing pictures of gloves and shoes was a very modest one, but having once got to work, I found materials cropped up from various unexpected quarters, and thus a more ambitious volume is the result. From the outset my aim has been to give accurate and reliable illustrations of royal and historic gloves and shoes, trusting to these for success rather than upon any literary display, that part of the matter having already been efficiently done by several well- known authors.
Whatever works may have been written on gloves or shoes, I venture to think that hitherto no attempt has been made to illustrate the subjects by such pictures as are contained in this volume.
With the exception of the pictures of gloves in the Victoria and Albert Museum and those taken from the Stuart Relics exhibited at the New Gallery, London, every plate has been specially taken for this work from the existing article, either by photographs when possible or, when more convenient, by carefully made watercolour drawings by myself; in every case absolute accuracy has been attempted.
The information contained in the Introductions to the two subjects, and the descriptions given to each plate, will, it is hoped, prove useful and interesting to those to whom the work will appeal the most, viz, to artists, workers of embroidery, antiquarians, curators of museums, and possibly to the public generally.
The labour of gathering together suitable specimens, and of obtaining information for the brief descriptions, has not been very light, and has extended over some two years, while as a reward it has brought me into contact with a number of collectors and others who have given kindly help in my undertaking. To those who have so willingly lent me their treasures I tender my sincere thanks, their names appear at the foot of each description. I also desire to record my grateful acknowledgments to those whose names I give below, who, among others, have assisted me by advice, introductions, and by other means in producing this volume.
Viscount H. A. Dillon, F.S.A., J. W. Clark, M.A., University Registrary, Cambridge, Mrs. R. E. Head, Messrs. C. W. Bell, Allen Fea, Ambrose Harding, Miller Christy, the Bursar of New College, Oxford, and the Trustees and Officials of the various Museums who have given me access to their treasures. I am also indebted to Messrs. Palmer-Clarke, of Cambridge, and other photographers, who have well and carefully carried out my wishes in producing the pictures.