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Chair leg

North or Northwest India

Not on view

The French Archaeological Mission excavation at Begram, Afghanistan, in 1937, found an extraordinary hoard of luxury commodities spanning from Roman Alexandria to Han China, along with ivory furniture decorated in a distinctly Indian style. This pair of ivory chair legs likely belongs to a later trading center, perhaps in the Punjab region of northwest India during the fourth century CE. They each display an elephant’s head and trunk against a grape-and-vine meander ground. The acanthus-leaf band serving as a laurel for the elephant’s head, together with the lion-claw feet, underscore the design’s Roman sources, blended with Indian imagery.

Chair leg, Ivory, North or Northwest India

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