Our pair of antique embroidered silk shoes are dated to the 19th century and comes with a dark history.
These small shoes or slippers are hand made using silk, velvet, cotton, and wood. The embroidery on the toe symbolizes a lotus flower. The raised platform is made of lightweight wood, painted white and attached to a hard leather sole.
Shoes like these were often worn by Manchurian women or girls with bound feet, a common practice for centuries that judged women's beauty and value by the size of their feet. Despite the pain, millions of women stood firmly devoted to this tradition. It was purported to be a status symbol among the elite. But it also subjugated women and young girls, forcing them to sit for hours and make goods by hand such as mats, yarn, fishing nets, shoes, etc. The tradition waned in the early 20th century.
Examples of these shoes are rare in today's market. The detail in the workmanship is amazing and takes its place in fashion history.
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- ONE pair of 19th century Chinese embroidered shoes (as shown)
Good condition considering age and use. The silk fabric is frayed in areas with loose threads. Overall surface wear noted. White lining is discolored and soiled. Much of the embroidery is intact with loose thread present. The stitching on the leather soles remains intact. The wedge platform shows wear, cracks, separation, discoloration.
- Materials: silk, cotton, wood, paint
- Color: black, blue, brown, tan, white, red, green
- Dimensions: 6.25" L x 2.5 " W x 2" H
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