Pair of Blue and White Lotus Shoes

20th Century
W: 2.5" D: 4.5" H: 2.5"
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These dainty porcelain slippers are shaped to resemble a lotus bud and recreate the pointed silk shoes that enhanced the diminutive shape of bound feet. The porcelain lotus slippers are glazed with a blue-and-white design of guardian fu lions playing with a silk brocade ball, a motif for high rank and power. The little shoes are further embellished with delicate brass trims and cast charms of sinuous dragons.

A practice that began in the Tang dynasty and reached the height of its popularity in the Qing dynasty, foot binding was a painful process intended to make a woman's feet as small as possible by restricting bone growth from an early age. The smaller the feet, the more attractive and erotic they were, giving elite women a mark of elegance.

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Blue & White Porcelain

Soon after its development in the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368 AD), blue-and-white underglaze porcelain became a favorite of the imperial court. Its broad appeal rapidly extended beyond China’s borders, becoming a lucrative export commodity highly sought after in Europe, the Middle East, and beyond.

Using cobalt imported from Western Asia, ceramic artists ground the mineral into a vibrant blue pigment that was then painted directly on a porcelain base, coated with clear glaze, and fired. This underglaze technique brought with it a shift in focus from the overall shape of a vessel to the skill and artistry traceable in its painted decoration.

Transcending time and taste, blue-and-white porcelain continues to be appreciated around the world for the intricate brushwork and brilliant blue color.

What They're Saying

Elizabeth Krueger | Elizabeth Krueger Design

“PAGODA RED was extremely supportive in helping to pull accessory options together for the Lake Forest Showhouse. After providing them with details and our vision on how we were looking to finish our space, Laurene helped curate options that made it easy for us to edit and finalize. It's also no surprise that the unique pieces we used in our showhouse space were some of the first to sell.”

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