Single bound foot ankle length boot with a pointed toe, wide shaft, and arched sole. The upper is of stiffened pink silk embroidered with insect and floral designs at the vamp, and edged with woven ribbon. The throat, of white cotton, is decorated with criss-crossing in blue silk, ribbon, and ladder-rung at the mouth tip. The shoe is lined in white cotton with printed blue lotus and fish designs. A piece of red paper has been placed on the insole. It has an arched wooden sole with a high heel covered with white cotton, with an ornate sole of blue silk edged with multi-coloured ribbons. There are two top-pieces of quilted white cotton. The back heel tab is in a tearshape, decorated with red silk and multi-coloured 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.'