Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Coat - Akhnaton


  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1976 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Jones, John (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Leather and appliqué

  • Credit Line:

    Given by John Jones

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Artist and maker John Jones created this coat in 1976. He titled it “Akhnaton” after the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten, husband of Queen Nefertiti. Jones labelled it a ‘picture coat’ because of the life-like scenes it depicts. Featuring multi-coloured appliquéd pictures of ancient Egyptian life spread across the back and lower skirt of the coat, the design was inspired by the maker’s visit to the Tutankhamen exhibition held at the British Museum in 1972.

Fascinated by the secret languages and signs Jones wrote messages relating to current events onto the coat using his own system of hieroglyphic symbols. For example, on the coat’s front edges Jones referenced contemporary politics by writing in code, “ Hi, I'm Jimmy Carter and I'm running for president,” (Carter’s election campaign was in full swing at the time).

The coat had an interesting life before it was acquired by the V&A. It was featured in the Observer Magazine in October 1976 and was subsequently hired by a touring Southend production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat 1976. The V&A acquired the piece in 1989.

Physical description

Black full-length leather coat with elaborate multi-coloured appliqué scenes of ancient Egyptian life spread across the back and the lower skirt of the coat. These scenes are made from thousands of stitched pieces of coloured leathers.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1976 (made)


Jones, John (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Leather and appliqué


Length: 56 cm, Circumference: 88 cm waist

Object history note

Registered File number 1988/2159.

Descriptive line

Full-length leather coat 'Akhnaton' with appliqué, designed by John Jones, Great Britain, 1976




Applied work


Fashion; Africa; Clothing; Leather

Production Type



Textiles and Fashion Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.