Shoe from the Tomb of Tutankhamun

This is a reproduction of one of the shoes found in the famous tomb of Tutankhamun. Conspicuous is the lavish use of gold on all elements of the shoe as well as the unusual strap construction around the toes. The cut of the upper as well as the method of latching does not suggest that is was meant for longer walks, but that probably is not to be expected from a pharao in the first place. It is also very well possible that these shoes were never actually worn, but rather made to accompany Tutankhamun into his grave.

 

As the pictures from the time of the discovery of the tomb show, the shoes were very well preserved at the time. Unfortunately either wrong or lack of preservation resulted in grave and irreversible damage and made it impossible to clarify all constructional and decorative details. Where in doubt, I discussed details with Andre Veldmeijer, on whose excellent recent publication (see below) the reconstruction is based.

 

Below a number of pictures from the reconstruction process. For obvious reasons I replaced the gold metal strips and beads with brass - quick calculation showed that by today's gold price the pair would carry around 2500 - 3000 euros worth of gold - and only gilded the leather as on the original.

 

The upper is constructed of multiple layers of leather with open cutwork. The base of the upper is reinforced with a longish strip of gold with simple geometrical embossing. Along the top edge runs a line of glass and gold beads.

Literature

  • Veldmeijer, Andre J. Tutankhamun's Footwear: Studies of Ancient Egyptian Footwear. 2010