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The Sabot Makers, Tours


Number: 394
Date: 1888
Medium: etching (?)
Size: unknown mm
Signed: unknown
Inscribed: unknown
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 0
Catalogues: K.-; M.-; T.-; W.-
Impressions taken from this plate  (0)


people, shoe, shop, worker.


An etching was listed during stocktaking in Whistler's studio:

'The Sabot Makers - Tours' (1887/1888, Whistler). 2

The etching has not been located, but is here given Whistler's title.

2: List, [August 1887/1888], GUW #13233.


Unknown. It could be either an interior, showing a workshop, or exterior, showing the shop-front.


Tours is a town in the Loire valley, France. Whistler drew several etchings in Tours, including Rue des Bons Enfants, Tours 392, The Hôtel de la Croix Blanche 395, The Market Place, Tours 388, Little Market Place, Tours 389 and The Hangman's House, Tours 393. None of these can be identified as the 'Sabot-makers'.


A sabot was a wooden clog or over-shoe. It was commonly worn by working class men and women in both town and country. Making sabots was a job for a wood-worker, a specialised craftsman or carpenter, and sabots were finished by both men and women. Thus a depiction of 'sabot-makers' could have shown a wooden work bench, or blocks of wood, and perhaps sabots hung on the wall, window or door.
Some of the copper plates remaining in Whistler's studio at his death show shop-fronts, but is not possible to make out any sabots in them.
It is unfortunate that both Whistler's etchings of shoe-making should have disappeared; the other was Boot Shop, Ratcliffe Highway 379. He did however draw a lithograph of The Shoemaker c169.