Shoes - Paragon, Rice O'Neill, Black Suede, circa 1957 Reg. No: HT 11659
- Pair of high-heeled, black suede shoes with peep toes and fastening strap extending from vamp to ankle. Made by Paragon; Rice O'Neill label. Rice O'Neill was an American label produced under licence - the licence was bought by Paragon circa 1957. The shoes are inscribed with the date 1939, but the conservation report suggests that they may be late 1950s, and the donor thinks they were probably incorrectly dated for an in-house display.
Paragon Shoes Pty Ltd was one of the most significant 20th century Australian shoe retailers, and at one time was the largest manufacturer of high quality of women's shoes in Australia. Its factory was located in Melbourne, and its shoes were sold throughout Australia and New Zealand.
- Pair of high-heeled sandal style with peep-toe. Cross-over vamp. Fastening strap extending from vamp to ankle. Uppers and heel of black suede.
- Statement Of Significance:
- The Paragon Shoe Collection comprises over 90 objects, including pairs of shoes and single shoes, point-of-sale materials and promotional materials such as business cards and an umbrella bearing the company name. The Collection documents the business and products of Paragon Shoes Pty Ltd, one of the most significant 20th century Australian shoe retailers, and at one time the largest manufacturer of high quality of women?s shoes in Australia. Its factory was located in Melbourne, and its shoes were sold throughout Australia and New Zealand.
The collection was largely donated by a member of the Davison family, which ran the Paragon business for most of the 20th century. It documents the changing designs of Australian women's footwear, from the 1910s to the 1980s. It illustrates the development of new shoe styles, from sample shoes bought overseas to shoes that went into production and were worn by Australian women. The collection is complemented by an archive held at the State Library of Victoria, including company records, shoe design sketch books and further point-of-sale material.
- Acquisition Information:
- Donation from Mrs Diana Gaze, 2005
|Dimensions:||15.0 cm (Height), 17.0 cm (Width), 22.5 cm (Length)|
|Tagged with:||footwear industry, manufacturing|
|Themes this item is part of:||Paragon Shoe Collection, Clothing & Textiles Collection, Working Life & Trades Collection|
|Inscriptions:||Printed on inside of sole: "Paragon Present / Rice O'Niell"
Handwritten on underside sole of right shoe: "1939"
|Manufacturer:||Paragon Shoes, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia|
Date on base of right shoe has 1939, but the date on conservation report states them to be late 1950s, and the rights for the shoes/label were apparently obtained by Alexander Nicholas in the early 1950s, according to the donor.
Howard, G., 2004. Lex Davison: Larger Than Life'. Turton & Armstrong, Sydney.
Copies of several newspaper articles about Paragon from the early 1920s were included with the donation.
The State Library of Victoria holds an archive relating to the Paragon business, containing receipt books, account books, advertising, clippings, sample book, sketches, photographs and a poster - MS 13570. The content dates range circa 1928-1988. An additional archive, PA 01/05, ranges 1940s-1980s.