- Museum number
Wooden bed: the footboard between the uprights is a modern restoration. The legs of the bed are made from a fine, dark hardwood and are beautifully carved into a bovine form, and the hooves, like the crossrail, are embellished with silver. The legs are overlaid with coiled cobras of heavy gold sheet metal that follows the contours of the intricate design carved into the hardwood and is attached by gold and silver nails. Ebony cobras that snake along the uprights of the footboard are inlaid with tiny silver rings punched into the wood.
Height: 74 centimetres
Length: 38.50 centimetres
Width: 83 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Attached to 1887,1219.1.
These fragments were reputed to be the remains of the royal throne of Hatshepsut when they were presented to the British Museum in 1887. The have now been correctly reassembled as a couch or bed.
One of the New Kingdom refinements in furniture design was an almost universal change in the type of animal-shaped legs, with the more elaborate feline legs replacing bulls' legs. Thus it is noteworthy that this bed retains the bovine form that was used as a furniture support from Egypt's earliest period. It is possible that this bed is an import or copy of the type of beds (or biers) found in Nubia in the great Kerma tumuli of the Second Intermediate Period (1650-1550 B.C.); the shapes of the beds in those finds and the technique of their construction show many similarities with this example. Regardless of where this bed was constructed, it demonstrates the appreciation of good craftsmanship and elegant decoration that was widespread in the early Eighteenth Dynasty.
B. Porter & R. Moss, 'Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs and Paintings' I (Part 2) (Oxford, 1964), p.586;
RT 10: 126
G. Killen, 'Ancient Egyptian Furniture' I (Warminster, 1980), 10, pl.1;
C. N. Reeves, 'The Valley of the Kings. The Decline of a Royal Necropolis' (New York and London, 1990), 17;
S. Quirke, ‘Ancient Egyptian Religion’ (London, 1992), 118, fig.70.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1998/9 Oct-Jun, South Carolina, The Charleston Museum, Queens Commoners of the New Kingdom
2005-2006 15 Oct-29 Jan, San Francisco, M H Young Memorial Museum, Hatshepsut
2006 20 Mar-9 Jul, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Hatshepsut
2006 26 Aug-10 Dec, Fort Worth, Kimbell Museum of Art, Hatshepsut
[Theme: Royal Burial]
2011 Jul–Sept, Newcastle, Great North Museum, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
2012 Oct–Jan, Dorchester, Dorset County Museum, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
2012 Feb–June, Leeds City Museum, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
2012 Jul-Oct, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
2012 Nov– Feb 2013, Glasgow, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
2013 Mar–Aug, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery , Pharaoh: King of Egypt
- fair (fragmentary and incomplete)
- Acquisition date
- Egypt and Sudan
- BM/Big number
- Registration number