Side chair of an unidentified hardwood

Typical 18th 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. It is in a good condition. Several separations running with the grain of the wood.

Side chair of an unidentified hardwood
side chair of an unidentified hardwood

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.

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.

New Kingdom, Second half of the 18th Dynasty, ca. 1400-1292 BC. Now in the Brooklyn Museum. 37.40E