- Museum number
Ebony stool: the finest surviving example of its type, this stool combines precious materials and successful design with superlative craftsmanship. The leather seat dips in a double cove to give contoured support to the body from any of its four sides. Ivory inlay imitating garlands of lotus petals adorns the upper portions of the legs, contrasting brightly with the rich, dark tone of the ebony. Below the lotus garlands are miniature squares of ivory imitating through joints. The supporting lattice bracing, composed of two inner vertical struts on each side, flanked by two angled struts, is also of ivory. Stretchers of ebony terminating in ivory ferrules, which fan out in imitation of a papyrus umbel, hold the legs firmly in place. The legs taper toward the bottom and then flare out again to form a delicate, aesthetically balanced support. Incised rings ornament the tapered half.
- Production date
- 1400BC-1350BC (circa)
Height: 37.50 centimetres
Width: 43.80 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- The flared-leg stool was employed at all levels of the social scale, from pharaoh to peasant. The workmanship evident in this example and the exotic materials employed suggest it came originally from a great household, perhaps even a palace.
G. Killen, 'Ancient Egyptian furniture' I. (Warminster, Aris and Phillips, 1980), p. 49, fig. 23, plates 82-3; see also H.S. Baker, 'Furniture in the ancient world: origins and evolution, 3100-475 BC' (London, The Connoisseur, 1966), p. 134-135, plate 193;
Boston Museum of Fine Arts, 'Egypt's Golden Age' (Boston, 1982), pp. 69-70 ;
'Egyptian Treasures' [exhibition catalogue] (Shanghai, 1999), 228-229 No 68
P. Nicholson and I. Shaw, 'Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology' (Cambridge, 2000), p. 362;
N. Strudwick, Masterpieces of Ancient Egypt, London 2006, pp. 196-7.
- On display (G65/dc1)
- incomplete - seat lost
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Lot 662 at auction, Sotheby's, London.
- Egypt and Sudan
- BM/Big number
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: BS.2472 (Birch Slip Number)