Antique Casting Of A Bound Foot, China, Circa 1871
Antique Casting Of A Bound Foot, China, Circa 1871
Antique Casting Of A Bound Foot, China, Circa 1871
Antique Casting Of A Bound Foot, China, Circa 1871
Antique Casting Of A Bound Foot, China, Circa 1871
Tribal Bod Mod

Antique Casting Of A Bound Foot, China, Circa 1871

Regular price $980.00 $0.00 Unit price per
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Item details

Vintage from the 19th century

An exceptional rare medical artifact and oddity, this casting of a Chinese girl's bound and shaped foot was made in Canton, China in 1871 by the legendary Dr. J.G. Kerr. of the Medical Missionary Society Hospital in Canton, China. The accompanying card reads: "This model of a small foot is made from a cast taken by me from the foot of a girl about 15 years old, a patient in the Hospital. (Sd.) J.G. Kerr Canton, May 1871" Two other similar renditions of this casting are known, one resides in the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia, ref# H1818, acquired by the museum in 1897, and the other example was auctioned in the UK in 2012, the lot comprising the foot only, minus the big toe. Both examples are dated to 1874.

The object offered here measures about 5 1/2 inches overall and the bottom of the foot measures a little over 3 inches. The original embroidered silk lotus shoe measures just a little over 3 inches, as well, the 3 inch mark being the desired size for the traditionally perfect lotus foot and shoe. Casting is in very good condition with no cracks, blemishes, or missing pieces. The shoe fits the foot and shows damage that would be expected during the some 144 years of storage since its creation. It does remain intact in in relatively good condition.

This is a unique find for anyone collecting examples from the foot binding tradition or with extreme body modification. The price is $1000.00

John Glasgow Kerr (1824 -- 1901) was a Presbyterian medical missionary to China with the American Presbyterian Mission. Born in Duncansville, Ohio, Kerr graduated from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. He went to China as a medical missionary and arrived in Canton in 1854. He soon took over the Ophthalmic Hospital in Canton run by Peter Parker, the Guangzhou Boji Hospital (The Canton Hospital). He was there for 47 years and treated almost 1 million patients. He performed 480,000 surgical operations including 1300 urinary calculus. In 1870 he trained 260 Chinese medicals. Sun Yat-sen was later a student at the hospital. Kerr pioneered mental health care in China. In 1898 he opened the Canton Refuge for the Insane, the first mental hospital in China, where he served until his death. In 1887 he was the first president of the Medical Missionary Association of China. He translated 34 volumes of Materia Medica into Chinese and authored other medical books. In 1890 he was a founding member of the Permanent Committee for the Promotion of Anti-Opium Societies. He passed away after a short illness in early August, 1901, and was was buried in the Protestant cemetery outside Canton, near three of his missionary colleagues, Dyer Ball, Henry V. Noyes, and Joseph C. Thomson