Woman's shoes for bound feet. The uppers are made of indigo blue silk, embroidered at the front with a small motif in white, green, yellow, and pink threads, with a gold thread strip down the front. The top of the uppers has applied sections of pink, green, and white printed fabric, with a border embroidered in green and cream trim. Above this is a section of plain beige cotton, and above that a section of red. The lining is of coarse beige cotton. The sole is of red fabric, stitched to a beige upper part, with stitches in cream evident all over the base of the sole, which is a little worn at the heel.
Rev. Robert John Davidson (1864-1942) and his wife Mary Jane Davidson (1847-1918) were Quaker missionaries at the Friends' Foreign Mission Association in Chungking, Szechuan, China from 1890-1894. As well as being a missionary, Mary was a trained nurse and midwife and helped the local community. She is probably responsible for the large number of items in the Museum's collection which relate to women and children. In 1895 the Davidsons returned to Britain, where they toured the country lecturing at Quaker meetings about Chinese life and customs. During these lectures they would dress up and act out aspects of Chinese life, their 6 year old son Robin demonstrating the use of chopsticks, for example. A collection of Chinese objects was used to illustrate their lectures. While in Britain they visited The Horniman Museum and spoke with Frederick Horniman, himself a Quaker, who bought 338 items of their collection for £81.00. They returned to China in 1896 and spent about forty years there altogether. See Levell, N., The Translation of Objects: R and M Davidson and the Friend's Foreign Mission Association, China, 1890-1894. In Shelton, A., ed., (2001) Collectors: Individuals and Institutions. The Horniman Museum & Gardens. pp.129-162.