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Ballet Slippers



Jacob Simon Bloch, shoemaker, immigrated to Australia from Lithuania in 1930 in response to Tsar Alexander III’s pogroms. He began to make ballet shoes from a little shop in Oxford Street in Paddington. When he was able to make shoes for the visiting Ballet Russe companies, he became more widely recognised for his craft. Three years later, age the age of 33, he had made enough money to bring his family to Australia.

Now in the hands of the third generation, Bloch is a preeminent international dancewear company. Bloch has made shoes for the Paris Opera Ballet, costumes for Disney on Parade, and boots for Pavarotti.

Photograph of Jacob and his daughter, Betty, in Paddington.

Donated by Betty Wilkenfeld nee Bloch

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