Detail View: The AMICA Library: Arm Panel from a Ceremonial Chair

AMICA Library Year: 
Object Type: 
Creator Nationality: 
African; North African; Egyptian
Creator Name-CRT: 
Arm Panel from a Ceremonial Chair
Title Type: 
Object name
Full View
Creation Date: 
ca. 1400-1391 B.C.E.
Creation Start Date: 
Creation End Date: 
Materials and Techniques: 
Max. H. 9 7/8 in. (25.1 cm)
AMICA Contributor: 
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: 
New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 
Credit Line: 
Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915

This fragmentary panel from the left arm of a chair was found in the tomb of Tuthmosis IV in the Valley of the Kings. Traces of glue on the surface suggest that the beautifully carved low relief with its exquisitely executed details was once covered with gold sheeting. On one side, the king is shown as a sphinx subduing the enemies of Egypt. The front edge of the panel is missing, but the text before the king's face probably read: 'Lord of the Two Lands, Menkheperure, son of Re, Tuthmosis, [given] life like Re.' The falcon at the upper right represents 'the Behedite [Horus], 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.'

On the other side, the panel depicts 'the young god, Menkheperure' enthroned, wearing the red crown of Lower Egypt. In front of him is the lion-headed goddess Weret, whose name is written above her head. Behind the king, is the ibis-headed god 'Thoth, Lord of Hermopolis, giving all life and dominion.' Thoth says, 'I have brought you millions of years of life and dominion united with eternity.' Behind the throne is the phrase 'All life and dominion around him [like] Re.'

In 1903 Theodore M. Davis discovered the tomb of Tuthmosis IV, whose throne name was Menkheperure. The fragmentary remains of the king's funerary equipment included this arm panel and a second one, now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The scenes on the panels suggest that the chair was used either for the king's coronation, or possibly for his thirty-year jubilee, the Sed festival.

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