Furniture leg, lion head and foot - ROM2016_15146_47


Furniture leg, lion head and foot

Medium:Wood, carved, stuccoed and painted
Geography: Egypt
Date: c. 30 BC-642 AD
Period: Roman Period
32.3 x 9.1 cm
Object number: 910.37.9.B
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. H.D. Warren
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

This cheerful-looking painted wooden lion once formed one of the legs of a funerary bed.  This piece would have formed one of the forelegs of the bed, with hind legs and tail at the back. Such beds were used in the Late Period for display of the wrapped and mummified body at the funeral, and possibly for visitations or other rituals at home

The lion's head was carved in in the round, as one piece with one of the squared corner supports of the bed. His slightly untidy mane and ruff were painted in black and red on a white background. Perhaps intentionally, the pattern on the ruff resembles feathers, and might have associated the lion with the goddess Isis, who is frequently depicted winged, and can be shown as a maned lion in funerary art. The legs are rather rudimentary, but the feet and toes are clearly distinguished, with black paint suggesting the claws.

A very fine lion-bodied funerary bed was found in Tutankhamun's tomb. This example, though much less elegant, nevertheless fulfilled its purpose of supporting and protecting the deceased.

This piece forms a pair with 910.37.9.A.

EgyptRoman World
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