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Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
A carpenter manufactured this chair using wooden mortises and tenons (tongueand- 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 spaces 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 these mortises and tenons suggests that they are original. The woven fiber seat was added to the chair in 1958, but examination of 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 Dynasty 18
    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)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    PROVENANCE Archaeological provenance not yet documented, probably from Thebes, Egypt; before 1848, reportedly found in a house on the bank of the Nile opposite Thebes; 1848, collected in Egypt by Henry Anderson in Egypt who says that it was "discovered in the house of a peasant on the bank of the Nile, opposite Thebes"; by March 6, 1877, gift of Dr. Henry Anderson or E. Ellery and Edward H. Anderson to the New-York Historical Society, New York, NY; 1937, loaned by the New-York Historical Society to the Brooklyn Museum; September 1948, purchased from the New-York Historical Society by the Brooklyn Museum.
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    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.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
    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 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.37.40E_NegE_print_bw.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, CUR.37.40E_NegE_print_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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