Art/ Collection/ Art Object


19th century
Chinese minority (Manchu)
silk, leather, cotton, wood
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Van S. Merle-Smith, 1941
Accession Number:
C.I.41.110.272a, b
Not on view

The Manchu peoples did not subscribe to the custom of footbinding practiced widely throughout China. Manchu footwear, for both men and women, had its own peculiarities, however. Although the foot itself was not reshaped, the soles were elevated on platforms two to four inches high. Women's shoes, like this one, were more elaborately decorated than men's, with bright embroidery on colored silk. The hooflike shape of the pedestal serves to stabilize the wearer.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Extreme Beauty: The Body Transformed," December 4, 2001–March 17, 2002.

Museum of Costume Art. "Sources of Fashion Inspiration and Fashions in Wartime," November 6, 1941–April 8, 1942.

Saint Louis Art Museum. "Vanity Fair: Four Centuries of Fashion from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 3, 1979–April 1, 1979.

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