Lot: 3

"Lotus" shoe with plaster cast of the bound foot


Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Hans Marcus, Düsseldorf, Germany L: 4.7 inch 150 EUR / 250 EUR

wood, cotton, silk, old handwritten collection label: "Villaes Anvers 25 Grand Goddaerts - Pied de Dame Chinoise avec le petit soulier"

The tradition for foot binding was widespread in China well into the 19th century. Small feet were considered an ideal of beauty and should increase a woman's chances of a good match. Chinese women wanted their feet to look like lotus buds.

The ideal size for feet was considered to be just 3 inches (about 7.6 centimetres) ! Binding girls feet was started when they were between five and seven years old. The girls started taking their first agonisingly painful steps in the winter months when the cold made their feet numb, which was supposed to cover up the worst pain.