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Another breast-binding garment…

January 18, 2011

Here are a few photos of the dudou (肚兜 – sometimes the other way around) I found in Xi’an. I stumbled on one shop in the Muslim Quarter that had stacks and stacks of dudou, which was a red flag no doubt. I do worry about fakes – every “antiques” store has mountains of lotus slippers – and it is totally possible that what I looked through and bought is fake. Even though very few tourists (Chinese or foreign) are looking for old breast-binding garments and I have had a million and one antiques sellers give me strange looks when I go in and look for them, these things are typically pitched to people as examples of traditional handicrafts and embroidery. I try to look at the stitching and see if they look hand done or not.

With this piece I took a look at it and it seemed the most legit of the ones I was looking at, with the exception of the little hooks on the side and the ribbon. I asked the antiques dealer about this and the cloth on the back and she said they were added much later. When I was in Beijing, I found another great dudou that was colored and faded enough to make me believe that it was much older than my other two pieces but the antiques dealer wasn’t backing down from 800 RMB, which I didn’t have on me and which I wasn’t going to pay. I will antique again!


Back detail

Also, here are some better quality photos of the first dudou I purchased in Shanghai a few months ago:

Collar detail

Back stitching

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 20, 2011 10:56 am

    The details are really superb!

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