Quatrefoil Kohl Tube of Baki

On one of my impulsive visits this morning to the Google Art Project/ Metropolitan Museum of Modern art (MOMA) I found these two fabulous pieces of ancient Egyptian furniture as well as a kohl box.

It is obvious that a great deal of artistry, craftsmanship and sheer manual labor would have gone into creating these pieces. However, more than three millennia after their time they have the feel of leisurely masterpieces. Some day when I have a lot of money after selling my own artworks I will have these pieces of furniture replicated down to their smallest detail in Egypt. Until then, I am content writing about them here. While at it, try repeatedly saying ‘Quatrefoil Kohl Tube of Baki’. It has the cadence of a mystical chant and it just might cast a spell on you and take you right back to circa 1504–1447.



Hatnefer’s Chair, ca. 1492–1473 B.C (Picture: The Metropolitan Museum of Art –MOMA)

Here is the official description of the chair above:

“Hatnefer was the mother of Senenmut, one of Hatshepsut’s best known officials. Her undisturbed tomb was discovered by the Museum’s Egyptian Expedition in 1936 on the hillside below Senenmut’s tomb chapel. This chair was found in front of the tomb’s entrance and was given to the Museum in the division of finds by the Egyptian government.

Hatnefer’s chair is a fine example of Egyptian woodworking. The various elements were assembled with mortise-and-tenon joinery, and pegs were used to hold the tenons in place. Pegs also fasten the braces to the back and seat. The joins were reinforced with resinous glue. The decoration on the back of the chair includes a row of protective symbols. In the center is the god Bes, a deity who protected the home. On either side of the god are the tit amulet which is closely associated with the goddess Isis, and the djed pillar, which symbolizes stability and endurance. The seat, made of linen cord, is original.”


Chair of Reniseneb, ca. 1450 B.C.(Picture: The Metropolitan Museum of Art –MOMA)

Here is the official description of the chair above:

“The back of this wooden chair, which belonged to the scribe Reniseneb, is handsomely veneered with ivory and embellished with incised decoration showing the owner seated on a chair of identical form. It is the earliest surviving chair with such a representation, and it is the only non-royal example known. The scene and accompanying text have funerary import and may have been added following Renyseneb’s death to make the chair a more suitable funerary object. The high quality of its joinery and the harmony of its proportions testify to the skill of ancient Egyptian carpenters. The mesh seat has been restored following ancient models.”



Quatrefoil Kohl Tube of Baki, ca. 1504–1447 B.C. (Picture: The Metropolitan Museum of Art –MOMA)

And here is my interpretation of Quatrefoil Kohl Tube of Baki.



About chutiumsulfate

South Asians can infer from my name what I am. View all posts by chutiumsulfate

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