Antique Chinese Lotus Shoe for Bound Feet


Brand Poppy's Vintage Clothing

This is a single antique Chinese lotus shoe that would have been worn by a woman with bound feet.  Breaking and then binding women’s feet was common in China from the 10th century until the early 20th century, both for aesthetic and sexual reasons.  Women with bound feet had to, by necessity, walk with a dainty gait, which was considered sexually enticing.  These Chinese lotus shoes were sheath or cone shaped, resembling a lotus bud, therefore referred to as lotus shoes.

This Chinese lotus shoe is adult sized, measuring 6 1/2” along the sole from the tip of the toe to the back of the heel, however, the foot would have to be much smaller than that length as the shoe is very pointed at the front.  The sole measures 1 3 /4” in width at the heel, 1” in width at the mid-point and 1/2” at the front of the shoe.

The sole is beautifully embroidered with coloured thread.  The upper is made of blue silk or maybe a type of cotton blend and embroidered with silk flowers while the top is finely embroidered with coloured thread.  It is laced up the front with fine thread - I’ve stuffed them with cotton wadding.  The shoe is entirely hand sewn.

This Chinese lotus shoe is in very good condition with no pronounced wear, tear, soiling or staining.

This is a beautiful display Chinese lotus shoe - wonderful conversation piece!