Slipper stirrups were popular in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, particularly in Europe and America. In Europe the style declined after about 1850, when the safety stirrup was preferred, but the slipper stirrup was still in use in America until the late nineteenth century and was often shown on side-saddles illustrated in the major US saddlery catalogues of the period, such as Moseman's.
The two slipper stirrups shown here are a typical and uniform style, made in leather, which even covered the metal frame holding the stirrup leather. The smaller one on the right, in lighter brown leather, may have been made for a child, as it seems incapable of accommodating an adult, booted foot, unless belonging to a very petite lady!
The slipper stirrup below, of a more unconventional shape and a daintier toecap with stitched design, was used on a side-saddle c. 1800.
The slipper stirrup used on Queen Victoria's side-saddle was velvet lined. Other variations included only the toecap (often seen on donkeys ridden by children), or just the flat, leather-covered foot plate without the toecap.
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