The Prince and the Plunder

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

The emperor’s Thai slippers

Published / by Andrew Heavens / Leave a Comment

What: A pair of filigree gold and red leather slippers said to belong to Emperor Tewodros

Where: The Royal Collection, Britain

The database entry has a photo and describes “A pair of filigree gold (?) and red leather slippers, with upcurved pointed toes and pointed tongues; set with rose-cut amethysts; metal soles.”


“Belonged to Tewodros II, Emperor of Abyssinia. Taken after Tewodros’ defeat at the 1868 Battle of Magdala and sent by General Sir Robert Napier to Queen Victoria with Tewodros’ crown, seal and robes. Presented to the queen at Windsor Castle by Lieutenant Colonel T.W. Milward on 18 June 1868.

“Sent for inclusion in a display of ‘Royal Treasures from Abyssinia’ at the South Kensington Museum. During an event held by the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts at the museum, it was noted that the slippers had been ‘intended by King Theodore to be sent with an embassy to England as a present to Her Majesty’ (TheAntiquary, III, 17 May 1873, p.238).

“Illustrated in Edwin Arnold, ‘Theodore The King’, The Gentleman’s Magazine, Vol. 225, 1868, p.381.

“Loaned to the South Staffordshire Industrial & Fine Arts Exhibition, Molineux House, Wolverhampton, in 1869 and to the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1912.”

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