RARE! The ancient tradition of binding the feet of the upper class women of a China long gone, to make them more appealing and valuable as a bride or concubine, seems tortuous to our modern sensibilities. The practice of foot binding began in the Sung dynasty (960-976 BC), reportedly to imitate an imperial concubine who was required to dance with her feet bound. By the 12th century, the practice was widespread and more severe — girls’ feet were bound so tightly and early in life that they were unable to dance and had difficulty walking. By the time a girl turned three years old, all her toes but the first were broken, and her feet were bound tightly with cloth strips to keep her feet from growing larger than 10 cm, about 3.9 inches. To hold these tiny Lotus shoes in hand makes it seem all the more strange - and yet, strangely beautiful at the same time. By tradition, every stitch in the fine old silk shoes is to be done by hand, by the child-then-woman who will wear them. This exceptionally fine old pair are beautiful, and have obviously been sparingly worn, based on the condition of the soles. Imagine! A MUST-HAVE FOR ANY COLLECTOR OF EROTICA; OF SHOES; OR ORIENTAL ANTIQUES; OR OF WOMEN'S HISTORICAL ICONS. (The goal was for the foot to be small enough to fit into her suitor's mouth - apparently a turn-on?). Rare! Don't miss this fine pair.
Very good condition! No loose seams, rips, tears or repairs. See pictures for measurements.
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
AUTUMN SALE - 25% OFF (all but newest listings) priced as marked. 13+ Years as RL's #1 Antiques Shop