Pair of Boots

Overall: 47.5 x 30.8 cm (18 11/16 x 12 1/8 in.)
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This magnificent pair of boots, made of finely woven silk tapestry (kesi), features two phoenixes in flight chasing a flaming pearl. Although the bright colors of the fabric have become muted from being buried in a tomb and the gold threads are partly disintegrated, the once lavish use of gold and the Chinese-inspired phoenix motif suggest that the boots were made for a member of the Liao imperial family, probably a woman. At the time the boots were made in the Khitan-occupied territory in northern China, footbinding was introduced among upper-class women in southern China. The high value the Khitan people accorded to boots relates to their mobile, seminomadic lifestyle.
Pair of Boots

Pair of Boots


Northern China, Liao dynasty (907-1125)

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