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Weißenfels: The shoe of August the Strong’s mistress



Weißenfels – Did the countess only wear these kidskin shoes when she went to see the king?

The shoe museum in Weißenfels (Burgenlandkreis) has been showing its greatest treasure* for the first time since yesterday: more than 100 pairs of baroque shoes that were bought between 1910 and 1950.

“Individual couples have already been shown in special exhibitions, but never the entire Baroque collection,” says director Isabell Aurin-Miltschus (48).

The red shoe made of wood and silk brocade is the oldest exhibit. It was made in Italy

Photo: Steffen Schellhorn

Shoes were made of sheepskin, goatskin or silk, often by court shoemakers.


Thirteen worked at the court of the Weißenfels dukes between 1680 and 1746. If you get hold of a pair from retailers today, you have to pay at least 6000 euros. Already in the baroque period, these shoes were treasures, as expensive as jewellery. You couldn’t walk far in it.

Slippers were more comfortable. If a woman also showed this outside of the private sphere, it was considered a sign that she was looking for an affair.

Speaking of which, the greyish pair of goatskin and silk fabric belonged to Maria Aurora Countess von Königsmarck (1662-1728) – a mistress of King Augustus the Strong (1670-1733).

*”Slippers & Heels”, May 14, daily except Mondays

Maria Aurora Countess of Koenigsmarck (1662–1728)

Maria Aurora Countess of Koenigsmarck (1662–1728)

Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Source: Asia Times


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