Funerary Bier Leg



A lion headed leg from a funerary bier. One of a pair; the other is in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, UK. The lion is standing on a platform under which is cut a stepped tenon. This would have been either located in a mortise of a cross-member which would have connected the front legs of the bier or they would have been set into a large metal drum. Behind the lion’s head is a large slot which would have accommodated the bier’s side rail. On the side of the head is a smaller mortise on which part of the tenon of the top stretcher is still present. The head is painted yellow with details in red and black. The breast is decorated in a blue/black green and red design. Rectangular serrated sticker with printed number 50; placed on top of a circular sticker which is placed over a rectangular sticker with ornate blue border. The tenon is marked in black ink 6860 (the WHMM registration number) and in blue pencil P XVII 22 (a reference to plate XVII in the 1906 de Rustafjaell sale catalogue). Wellcome Historical Medical Museum accession no. 61345; Purchased at Sotheby's, London, 19 – 21 December 1906 (de Rustafjaell sale) Lot 151: “Supports of chairs or thrones, shaped as the foreparts of lions (plate XVII,23); two tall standing figures of men, and various fragments; all of wood”.