1920s Souvenirs from Egypt

There are a few things in life that seem to represent a tangible manifestation of my life's passions (vintage clothing, history, travel, and archaeology) - this amazing coat is one of those.   It is a 1920s silk cocoon-style coat with lavish embroidery and shisha-style inset mirrors.  While the coat in and of itself is utterly stunning, it is the history of the coat that truly endears it to my heart.   It was purchased in Luxor, Egypt as a tourist's souvenir.   In the late 19th century, the Pohoomull Bros. (originally from India) set up shops in major tourist sites around the Mediterranean.  From these shops, they'd sell their wares imported from India.  Although the items they sold had a distinctly Indian style, they still satisfied the western tourists' desire for "Oriental" mementos from their world tours.  


 




Does it get any better?  Why yes it does!  The coat also came with a matching drawstring bag.





The Old Winter Palace
The Luxor Winter Palace, where this coat and purse were purchased, was luxury hotel built in 1886 on the banks on the Nile, near the Luxor Temple.  The 5-star hotel catered to western tourists and was the perfect location for the Prohoomull Bros. shop.  
Howard Carter's discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamen in 1922 fueled the already thriving tourist business in Egypt.  I love imagining a young woman traveling the Mediterranean and, while touring the ancient Egyptian sites, stopped to buy herself an exotic new coat and purse (that eventually made its way to me).

1920s tourists on the Giza Plateau

This is me doing my own tour of Egypt (ignore the squishy face; the sun is very bright there).







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