Chinese Children’s Shoes, T92.0168aB
Our Object of the Week is a staff pick!
Hillary Anderson, the TMC’s Conservator, chose a pair of mid-20th century children’s shoes from China as her favourite object in the collection:
“Like many of the staff at the TMC, I started working here as a volunteer. In the summer of 2004, I volunteered to work with the collection to get work/study hours for my fashion degree at Ryerson University. Our project that summer was to re-organize the Chinese collection. One afternoon, we placed all of the Chinese shoes on one shelf. We made sure they were stored properly by supporting them with tissue paper and finding boards to accommodate all the shoes. It was so satisfying! It definitely sparked my interest in working with collections. I picked these shoes because they represent the project that I did that summer.”
In China, children’s footwear was often made in the form of an animal. It was believed that animals had protective powers and were able to bestow health, longevity and good luck onto a child. They were made of red cotton or silk, and were brightly embroidered on the upper part, sometimes even on the padded soles.