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  • Place of origin:

    Egypt (Made)
    Akhmim (Probably, Made)

  • Date:

    ca. 300-700 (Made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Tanned leather decorated with gilded openwork and dye.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

An incomplete flat, leather shoe. Egyptian c.AD300-700 (probably). Made using the turned technique, with rand. Elaborately decorated with gold leaf and floral openwork. This shoe was acquired from H. Wallis Esq.

Coptic footwear was generally made of leather, primarily using the turned technique to produce a slipper or shoe with a straight sole. Slippers often included a rand at the vamp and a fibre padded sole sewn together with prominent stitching or insole tab. They show variation in the form and height of the instep. Shoes were generally slip-ons and also show variation in the form and height of the instep. Footwear was highly decorated in geometric and floral designs. Often a variety of techniques were used in combination with the most popular being dyeing, gilding, openwork and appliqué.

Physical description

An incomplete flat, leather shoe. Egyptian ca. AD 300-700 (probably). Fair condition. Semi-pointed toe and round heel. Turned technique with rand (2mm). Sole: Straight but wear suggests Left. Red leather. Small hole at seat, creased at tread and waist. No insole. Upper: Lateral vamp wing missing. Border of red leather round vamp perimeter above sole (14mm wide). Series of punched holes in the border, probably once expose gold beneath. Within the red band the vamp and each quarter are elaborately decorated with cutout, red leather floral patterns stitched on a separate layer of gilded leather. A bird in the tree motif is used. The bird looks over its shoulder and has a long curved beak. Quarters come high round the ankle and cut down diagonally to the vamp. Vamp end at instep with high throat. Possible knop but now missing. Topband of red leather (10mm wide) with running stitch and continues round to vamp's instep edge. Backseam is damaged.

Place of Origin

Egypt (Made)
Akhmim (Probably, Made)


ca. 300-700 (Made)



Materials and Techniques

Tanned leather decorated with gilded openwork and dye.


Length: 265 mm, Width: 90 mm tread, Width: 65 mm waist, Width: 70 mm seat, Height: 80 mm heel, Thickness: 3 mm heel

Object history note

Acquired from H.Wallis Esq.

Descriptive line

A leather shoe, ca. AD300-700, Egyptian; Akhmim (probably). Decorated with gold leaf and floral openwork.


Leather; Gold leaf


Tanning; Gilding; Dyeing; Openwork


Archaeology; Death; Africa; Footwear


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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