A pair of baby's or young child's shoes, made from dusky pink leather, with pink woven laces. They were made by J. & E. Robertson, a shoe manufacturer located at 64 Hoddle Street, Clifton Hill.
The shoes are part of a collection of objects which belonged to Ann Margaret Salter of Thornbury between 1946 and 1952.
A pair of baby's shoes, made from dusky pink leather, with pink woven laces. The shoes had been machine stitched and lined with a white cotton material.
This collection is a poignant collection representing the short and problematic life of one Melbourne girl in the immediate post World War II period. Ann Margaret Salter was born on the 10th March, 1946, and soon after was entrusted to the care of the St Joseph's Foundling Home in Broadmeadows. She was soon adopted by Eileen and (Patrick) Leo Salter of Thornbury, who had married in 1942 and were unable to have children of their own.
Unfortunately, Ann Margaret was often unwell, and it was soon discovered that she had a congenital bronchial disease (what is now referred to as Cystic Fibrosis.) This condition affected her throughout her short life, often involving long periods confirmed to bed and the administration of oxygen from a tank, both at her home in Thornbury and at the Hampton Convalescent Home. According to the donor, these dolls were important to Ann Margaret as she was unable to take part in `more robust children's games.' Although very frail, she was able to start school at St Margaret's in Thornbury in 1951, and attended as often as she could.
Ann Margaret finally passed away on the 9th December, 1952, aged 6 years. Her mother packed away the dolls and other mementoes of their precious daughter in the metal trunk, where they were kept until the she passed away in 2004. The framed photograph was displayed prominently in their home, and was later taken with them when they moved into a nursing home in the late 1990s. Eileen and Leo never adopted another child, after their experiences with Ann Margaret. They also told very few people that Ann Margaret was adopted, even in later years, such was the stigma attached to the adoption process in the 1940s
The collection is also significant as many of the objects are representative of the types of items being made in Australia during World War 2 and the immediate post war period, replacing unavailable overseas imports. The dolls are probably Australian Made, due to the materials used and their relative crudity to the dolls being produced in Europe and Japan. The jewellery is representative of the colourful costume jewellery which was made using the newly available plastics, replacing metal which was being used as part of the war effort.
The donor retains in her possession Ann Margaret's First Communion certificate and prayer book (which occurred two weeks before her death) and a large hand painted studio baby photograph.
Donation from Mrs Sue O'Connell, 14/07/2005
Stamped, insided shoe: SERAPH SHOES/J. & E. ROBERTSON/APPROVAL NO. 2047.
Type of item
12.5 cm (Length), 6 cm (Width), 5 cm (Height)
The Encyclopedia of Australian Dolls, M.Fainges, 1993; Letter from Donor, 2005