Skip Navigation

Lion Head from a Chair or Throne

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
MEDIUM Wood, glass
  • Reportedly From: Saqqara, Egypt
  • DATES 525-404 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 27
    PERIOD First Persian Period
    DIMENSIONS 5 x 4 5/8 x 4 11/16 in. (12.7 x 11.8 x 11.9 cm)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION One wooden lion's head, probably from a piece of furniture. The lion is shown, mouth open, its snout curved up in a snarl. The ears are back against head, the back of which is flat, and provided with a square dowel with peg stop still in place. The teeth are shown in two flat rows on upper and lower jaws. No canines are present. The ruff spreads out below the lower jaw and terminates in large flame like fringe. The eyes are moderately deeply set, the rim being copper the pupil of gold leaf. A piece of crystal may have been placed over this to complete the illusion. The cheek bones are prominent and emphasize the snarl. The interior of the mouth is painted red, the teeth white. Roof of the mouth sports rugae. Condition: Right side of the piece is much damaged. A gaping crack extends through the eye socket from the snout all the way to the rear. At least seven other longitudinal cracks radiate in a fan shape. The right eye setting and gilding is lost. Lost also is the right hand side of the nose. The gesso covering of the left hand side is completely gone as compared with that of the right. The rim of the left eye, though in place, has been transformed into azurite with little copper left. The paint on the white mouth interior is fairly well preserved the white of the teeth less so. The great amount of damage appears on the left side of the head.
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.