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Chair

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor

An Egyptian carpenter manufactured this chair using wooden mortises and tenons (tongue-and-groove joints) and pins called dowels. Many of the ancient wooden dowels are still visible just above the point where the legs meet the seat. The carpenter filled in the space surrounding the tenons on the back support with an adhesive made from animal protein ("hide glue") mixed with powdered white minerals. Although animal-based adhesives have been used in Egypt continuously from antiquity to today, the condition of the mortises and tenons suggests that they are original. The woven fiber seat was added to the chair in 1958, but examination of the fibers in the frames reveals that in antiquity four strands were laced through each opening.

MEDIUM Wood, bone, modern fiber
  • Reportedly From: Thebes, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1400-1292 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY second half of XVIII Dynasty
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 35 7/16 x 17 15/16 x 18 5/8 in. (90 x 45.6 x 47.3 cm)  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 37.40E
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Chair, ca. 1400-1292 B.C.E. Wood, bone, modern fiber, 35 7/16 x 17 15/16 x 18 5/8 in. (90 x 45.6 x 47.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.40E. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE x-ray, detail, CONS.37.40E_1998_xrs_detail09.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 1998
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Typical XVIII Dynasty side chair of an unidentified hardwood, having legs imitating the fore and hind legs of a lion. It has a high sloping back hollowed to fit the occupant's back. Ornamentation consists of alternation of light and dark wood and nine inlays of bone or ivory simulating broad headed nails of no constructional value. Construction is accomplished through joinery, gluing, and wooden pegs. Condition: Good. Several separations running with the grain of the wood. Most evident are, right front leg, frame of seat right front, and right back foot has been attached to leg by gluing. Back left has separation. Due to drying and shrinkage almost all joining places show slight to extensive separations. The several curved bracket braces are damaged and in some cases incomplete condition. Several wooden pegs are missing. Chip missing, upper left back edge.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (89%)
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