Chair of Reniseneb

New Kingdom
Dynasty 18
ca. 1450 B.C.
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes
Wood, ebony, ivory
h. 86.2 cm (33 15/16 in)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Patricia R. Lassalle Gift, 1968
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 116
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.
Purchased from Ernst E. Kofler, Lucerne, 1968. In 1954 seen by William C. Hayes with Cairo surgeon Helmi. Seen and photographed by Ludwig Keimer with Mohareb Todrous in the late 1940s-early 1950s.

Hibbard, Howard 1980. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Harper & Row, 38, fig. 61.

Dorman, Peter F., Prudence Harper, and Holly Pittman 1987. Egypt and the Ancient Near East in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.