Akhnaton

Coat
1976 (made)
Akhnaton thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Leather and appliqué
Brief Description
Full-length leather coat 'Akhnaton' with appliqué, designed by John Jones, Great Britain, 1976
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.
Dimensions
  • Length: 56cm
  • Waist circumference: 88cm
Style
Production typeUnique
Credit line
Given by John Jones
Object history
Registered File number 1988/2159.
Subjects depicted
Place Depicted
Summary
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.
Collection
Accession Number
T.114-1989

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record createdOctober 24, 2007
Record URL