The Prince and the Plunder

A book on how Britain took one boy and piles of treasures from Ethiopia

The British Museum robe

Published / by Andrew Heavens / Leave a Comment

What: Robe taken by the British Museum’s expert on the expedition, Richard Rivington Holmes

Where: The British Museum, Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3DG

Provenance: Maqdala referenced at length in the museum’s acquisition notes.

This appears to be at one of a group of similar robes, cloaks or mantles from Magdala currently split up in the store rooms of The British Museum, The Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and The Ethnological Museum of Berlin. See the ones we have tracked down here.

The Berlin database entry, which has several detailed images, gives details on the collection and suggests Emperor Tewodros initially commissioned them to send as presents to Queen Victoria.

The British Museum catalogue entry reads:

“Robe made of silk with embroidered designs in silk thread. The robe has appliqued filigree and repoussé worked silver gilt ornaments.”

Museum number: Af1868,1001.23
Date: 19thC
Condition: Fragile
Previous owner/ex-collection: Sir Richard Rivington Holmes
Acquisition date: 1868

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