VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Lotus Embroidered Shoes for Bound Feet
hunan34
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Foot binding was an undesirable custom first practiced in the Sui Dynasty (6th Century). Bound feet were widely regarded as an important criterion of beauty and women had to bear the pain of foot binding when they were little girls. Women’s feet of “Three inches gold lotus” (about 10 cm.) were considered as the most beautiful. Not until the late Qing Dynasty (early 20th Century) did the custom of foot binding begin to die out gradually, thanks to the introduction of foreign cultures and the efforts made by Chinese intellectuals. This pair of Lotus Embroidered Shoes for Bound Feet is proof of this undesirable custom, reflecting the bizarre criteria of beauty and the social structure featuring men’s superiority over women in ancient China. Traditional techniques of embroidery were adopted to make this pair of shoes. With fine silk, exquisite craftsmanship, lifelike designs and long durability, this pair of shoes is of practical value as well as for appreciation.

History of the Object
Unearthed from Tomb No.1 in Niuxingshan, Xiangxiang County, Hunan Province in 1975.

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Type
Costume and Jewelry 
Materials
Silk and wood 
Measurements
L14cm,W5.5cm,H7cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Hunan Province,China 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 17th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
17th Century - 20th Century; 1636 —1911 
Function
Shoes 
Acquisition
Unearthed from Tomb No.1 in Niuxingshan, Xiangxiang County, Hunan Province in 1975 and later collected by the Hunan Provincial Museum 
Copyright
Hunan Provincial Museum Copyright 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Hunan Provincial Museum 
Museum
Hunan Provincial Museum 
Credit line
http://www.hnmuseum.com/hnmuseum/eng 

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