Arm Panel From a Chair of Thutmose IV

This wooden panel is part of the left arm of a chair that belonged to the king Thutmose IV. Traces of glue on the surface suggest that the low relief, with its exquisitely carved details, was once covered with gold foil.

On one side, the king is shown as a standing sphinx subduing the enemies of Egypt. The falcon at the upper right represents the god Horus who is identified as “the great god, with dappled plumage, giving life and dominion.” The text above the sphinx’s back reads: “Horus, the lord of might and action, trampling all foreign lands.”

Arm Panel From a Ceremonial Chair of Thutmose IV
Arm Panel From a Ceremonial Chair of Thutmose IV

On the other side, the panel depicts the enthroned king wearing the red crown of Lower Egypt. In front of him is the lion-headed goddess Werethekau who is depicted in coronation scenes and is associated with the uraeus cobra at the front of the king’s crown.

Behind the king is the ibis-headed god Thoth who presents him with “millions of years of life and dominion united with eternity.”

A second arm panel from the same throne is now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. They were discovered in Thutmose IV’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings by Theodore M. Davis, who acquired them in the division of finds.

The scenes on the panels suggest that the throne was used either for the king’s coronation, or for his thirty-year rejuvenation festival, the Heb-Sed.

New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, reign of Thutmose IV, ca. 1401-1391 BC. Now in the Metropolitan Museum. 30.8.45a–c