Two bound foot ankle length boots with pointed toes, wide shafts and arched soles. The upper is of stiffened lilac damask embroidered with floral designs at vamp and edged with woven ribbon. The throat is of white cotton decorated with criss-crossing in blue silk, ribbon and ladder-rung at mouth tip. Lined in blue and white printed cotton. A piece of red paper placed on insole. Arched wooden sole with high heel covered with white cotton, with ornate sole of bright pink silk edged with multi-coloured ribbons. Two top-pieces of quilted cotton, front heel tab with black and grey check pattern, back heel tab shaped like a pomegranate of white cotton decorated with bright apple green silk and green and lilac ribbon.
These items were acquired by the great-uncle of the donor, Christopher Bass Mears II in China where he worked from 1882 to 1912 for the Imperial Chinese Customs. Mr Mears' letter to the curator includes the following: 'They were principally acquired soon after 1900, when all his original possessions were destroyed in the Boxer rebellion. Many of the items appear in photographs of his home in Peking which he has dated 1907, and are therefore typical of wares that ordinary British overseas workers and tourists bought as Chinese 'curios' at that period just before the Sun Yat Sen revolution of 1912, the terminal decade of the Chinese Imperial system. Upon retirement in 1912 he and his wife returned to this country and settled in Brighton, with these objects.'