Made of three thin bronze plates joined together and covered in a thick coat of gold, the shoes are symmetrical with one plate used for the soles and one plate each for the sides. The design on the soles consists of two rows of bead and flame designs running around the edge and the tortoise-shell pattern in the center, and inside part of the tortoise-shell pattern there are eleven lotus-flowers with eight petals each placed at regular intervals. The tortoise-shell sections in the center are filled with an alternate pattern of goblins and a pair of birds, and in symmetry at either side a bird with human head, bird, kylin, and fish with wings. The design on the side plates of the shoes are the same as those on the soles, except inside the tortoise-shell pattern. At the heel, on both left and right sides, there is the figure of a four-legged animal with long snout dawdling along. Singnichong, or the Tomb of the Shoes, is a wooden-chamber tomb with stone and earth mound. The tomb measures over 19m in diameter and yielded some exotic bronze dishes, and a pair of gilt-bronze shoes. The shoes were found in a damaged state at the foot of the corpse.

Materials: Gold 

Measurements: Length Left 32.0 cm

Where it was made: Singnichong, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, Korea 

Function: Burial materials 

Acquisition: Excavated in Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, Korea 

Silk Road On the Map

Country profile

Capital: Seoul
Region: Asia and the Pacific

Related Information

  • Route: Maritime
    AD 5th century

    National Museum of Korea

    Web site:

    Address: Yongsan-dong 6-ga 168-6 (Seobinggo-ro 137), Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea,140-026

    Phone: 02-2077-9000