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Lion-Shaped Furniture Leg

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

In both Egypt and Nubia the lion was associated with the sun god and symbolized royalty. Because the king was seen as a living embodiment of the sun, leonine images conveyed both connotations. The broad ruff with incised zigzag decoration is characteristic of representations of lions from the Twenty-fifth Dynasty, when Egypt was ruled by Nubian kings. A cartouche of the Kushite king Aspelta, a ruler who resided in the Nubian capital, Napata, appears on the front of the furniture leg.
MEDIUM Wood (Sycamore Fig, Ficus sycomorus)
DATES ca. 690–664 B.C.E.
DYNASTY Dynasty 25
PERIOD Third Intermediate Period
DIMENSIONS 13 7/8 x 3 9/16 x 5 1/2 in. (35.3 x 9 x 14 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
PROVENANCE Archaeological provenance not yet documented, possibly from Sudan; by 1852, collected in Egypt by Henry Abbott; 1859, purchased from Henry Abbott by the New-York Historical Society, New York, NY; September 1948, purchased from the New-York Historical Society by the Brooklyn Museum.
Provenance FAQ
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Wooden furniture element or part of a temple ornament carved in the form of a lion seated on a base. An inscription running down the front of the mane contains the titles and name Aspelta, King of Kush, (Nubia), at the time of the campaign of the Egyptian King Psamtik II against the Kushites. It was perhaps then brought to Egypt. The lion is coarsely carved and the body is elongated with the tail curved around the left haunch. The mane is represented by; a protruding disk shaped area around the face with hair indicated by zig-zag lines, a bib-like front mane reaching past the knees and scored horizontally and another portion covering the back of the head from top to shoulders with an overlapping zig-zag pattern. The piece seems to have been covered with plaster perhaps and then possibly painted. Condition: Good. A crack on the left side of base running with the grain, a chip on the corner, back right side.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Nubian. Lion-Shaped Furniture Leg, ca. 690–664 B.C.E. Wood (Sycamore Fig, Ficus sycomorus), 13 7/8 x 3 9/16 x 5 1/2 in. (35.3 x 9 x 14 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.42E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.42E_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 37.42E_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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