Image Source: via Quigley's Cabinet.
I have a friend who sees abandoned shoes as a symbol of death, mainly because of the Nazis' Holocaust-era photographs of discarded shoes in the concentration camps.
For a Hallowe'en countdown entry in my curios at auction series, full credit goes to Quigley's Cabinet for marking a different bloody anniversary. On 16 October 1793 at the height of the French Revolution, former Habsburg princess and French queen, Marie Antoinette, was beheaded. Above, a pair of her shoes, worn on the first celebration of Bastille Day (14 July 1790), at which royal attendance was already a sign of serious troubles. The queen originally gave the slippers to a manservant, who passed them to his descendants.
These shoes were sold by Olivier Coutau-Bégarie at Drouot auction house in Paris on 17 October 2012. The full catalogue of royal artifacts which were up at auction is here. Perhaps fittingly, and in stark contrast with the grim recession, they were sold at way above their expected price, for USD $81,275, to a telephone bidder.
Quigley's Cabinet: "The shoes are green and pink silk with wooden heels and a pointed toe. They measure ... 24cm long x 6cm wide x 10cm high."
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