Playing at Shuttlecock with the feet.

Date Created



University of Otago Library Special Collections - DS 709 AE16


London : Fisher, Son & Co.


"Near to the afflux of the Tchang-ho with the Cha-ho, river of floodgates, or imperial canal, is a splendid octagonal pagoda : it consists of nine stories, adorned with projecting eves, and it tapers with a remarkably gradual and graceful convergence. From its basement to the edge of the waters, the grounds slope gently, and this pleasant area, being reserved for the recreation of the citizens of Lin-tsing-choo, generally presents a scene of mirth, although not always of morality.....Around the groups engaged with absorbing earnestness in games of chance, the more cautious, but not less interested, are seated, relieving their anxiety upon the pending bet, by the pleasures of the chibouque.....the sport of shuttlecock, certainly a healthy recreation, is pursued with a degree of enthusiasm which it is seldom known to excite in the western world. There it is strictly limited to the youth of both sexes, and in some resigned to the gender exclusively ; but, in China, the most muscular men amongst the labouring classes seem to feel inexpressible delight in the sensation it produces. No battle-doors are employed, nor are the hands generally of any service in the game, save to balance the players body during its rapid movements : the shuttlecock is struck with the soles of the feet, sometimes unprotected by any covering ; at others, however, wooden shoes are permitted, and the noise which these cumbersome accompaniments contribute, is considered an accession to the mirth. Five, frequently six persons, form themselves into a circle, for the propose of playing at this active game ; and whether shoes be permitted, or hands occasionally allowed, to aid the feet in preventing a shuttlecock from coming to the ground, the least successful players fall out of the ring in turn, until the number is gradually reduced to one ; this one is, of course, declared to be the winner of the stakes, or the pool, or the object played for, whatever it may happen to have been." (Allom, 1842, v. III, p. 32-33).


Wright, G. N. (George Newenham), 1790?-1877


Intaglio prints


290 mm

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage


China : in a series of views, displaying the scenery, architecture and social habits of that ancient empire / drawn, from original and authentic sketches, by Thomas Allom ; with historical and descriptive notices by G.N. Wright (London : Fisher, Son & Co., 1843), v.III, facing p. 32.

Is Part Of

China : in a series of views, displaying the scenery, architecture and social habits of that ancient empire.





Allom, Thomas, 1804-1872, “Playing at Shuttlecock with the feet.,” | OUR Heritage, accessed March 1, 2024,