Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Chinese Slippers

From the seller:
WE DO ACCEPT INTERNATIONAL BIDDERS (email for Shipping quotes)... You are bidding on this pair of very old, Japanese, Ladies shoes that were purchased from a local Estate Sale along with some other early Items (SEE OTHER AUCTIONS AT THE BOTTOM OF PAGE- Click on smaller Pictures to enlarge them). They are stamped on the insides (see pictures for close-ups) and look to still be in good, used condition with some light wear throughout them. Both Shoes are coming apart, a bit, at the seams along the back, heel section (see pictures for close-ups). The Shoes are approx. 9" long by 2 1/4" wide, at their widest point, and will make a great addition to any collection or as the perfect Gift. Please take a look at the Pictures (scroll/click Cursor over Thumbnail Pictures to enlarge them) and email with any other questions, Thanks & Happy Bidding!!!!
From Me:
This is another pair I bought recently. After asking, I discovered that these are not Japanese. I didn't think they were -the script looked wrong- but I was sort of in the "Oh! Old! Pretty! Blue! Silk! SHOES!" mindest at the time of bidding and didn't care. :-) What these really -most likely- are are a pair of late teens era shoes made for a lady after 1916. In 1916, the Chinese Emperor banned foot binding. It worked about as well as the 18th Amendment in this country but many people in the more urban areas began to either unbind their feet or not bind their daughters' feet.
Foot binding is -in my opinion- one of the most horrific practices against women. Sometime between the age of 3 to 7, parents would order their daughter's feet bound. A bound foot, or Golden lotus feet, were considered necessary among the upper classes to ensure a good marriage. The foot was literally wrapped so tightly that it was broken in half and the toes were shoved up above the main part of the foot while the heel was often broken under. Only the big toe was allowed to be free of the binding -or look normal. The foot would be as small as 3" after this practice.
When this practice was first banned -in didn't full stop until the 1940's- many women undid their foot binding which was as painful as getting the feet bound in the first place. The need for a new style of shoe came about which might be what these are. Although these are a bit large for an unbound foot -ie one that was previously bound- they may be the new "style" being portrayed for unbound feet.

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