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Furniture Leg, Probably from a Bed

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Pre-Dynastic, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
Ancient Egyptians often sat or slept on mats on the ground, and their earliest furniture was extremely low. This furniture leg is shaped like a bull’s hind leg atop a ribbed cylinder and probably comes from the foot of a bed. Rare examples of completely preserved beds indicate that the legs at the head of the bed would have represented a bull’s front legs.
  • Place Excavated: Abydos, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 3000–2675 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 1 to Dynasty 2
    PERIOD early Dynastic Period
    DIMENSIONS 5 11/16 in. (14.5 cm) Base: 1 5/16 x 1 5/16 in. (3.4 x 3.3 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    PROVENANCE Abydos, Egypt; circa 1905, excavated by W.M. Flinders Petrie; between 1905 and 1934, provenance not yet documented; before 1934, possibly acquired by Friedrich Wilhelm von Bissing; by 1934, acquired by the Scheurleer Museum, the Hague, the Netherlands; 1936, purchased from the Scheurleer Museum by the Brooklyn Museum.
    Provenance FAQ
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Leg from piece of furniture (chair or bed). Hind leg of bullock. Wood unpainted. Foot rests on eight-tiered plinth. Upper part pierced through for pegs. Flat upper surface has single, broad, dowel. Condition: Surface throughout charred and worn, and worm-eaten on inner surface.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Pre-Dynastic, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
    CAPTION Furniture Leg, Probably from a Bed, ca. 3000–2675 B.C.E. Wood, 5 11/16 in. (14.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 36.290.4. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.36.290.4_NegA_bw.jpg)
    IMAGE side, CUR.36.290.4_NegA_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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