18 June 2006
"Sacred Vessels" ATOP Posts, Page Five
From Linda O'Keeffe, 1996 "In 16th-century Venice, shoes called chopines (right above) placed women's feet on platforms that frequently rose to unprecedented heights of 30 inches or more. Venetian husbands reputedly introduced the heavy wooden chopines to prevent their wives from straying.
"Manchu women (left above, late 19th century) with unbound feet wore shoes on pedestals to imitate the mincing "Lotus foot" step admired by Chinese men. The stilt-like bases were made from sewn layers of starched cotton."
Citations: Words and photos from "Shoes - A Celebration of Pumps, Sandals, Slippers & More" by Linda O'Keeffe, Workman Publishing, New York 1996