Pair of ladies’ shoes, Hon Sing, c. 1790 - c. 1815
These flat, silk shoes were very delicate; they were usually ruined after just a single night’s dancing. To protect shoes from the dust, mud and stones on the unpaved roads, overshoes were worn with a metal platform under the sole. China was traditionally the greatest producer of silk. After a Dutch East India Company trading post was established in Canton (1728), silk shoes were also exported to Europe.