Furniture Part (Bed)


A large number of bedframes and individual bed legs were discovered by teams led by Flinders Petrie excavating the Early Dynastic Period cemetery of Tarkhan. The beds excavated show large variation in style and craftsmanship. Within the collections of World Museum there are five such legs from the 1912 excavations. The sculptured quality of this leg is very fine.It has been accurately carved and decorated. Two holes are pierced horizontally through the upper part of the leg, from one side to the other. The surface of the piece has been carved with care, details of the veins being shown on one side. At the base the hoof rests on a low pedestal with decoration in the form of narrow horizontal grooves. It is typical of the style and design of legs that were used to support bedframes. They are bovine in form with a hollow top with a tenon set in the centre. The side bed rails would sit in the hollow and engage the tenon through a mortise. Because glue was not commonly employed when cramping joints and some beds were designed to be of a ‘knock down’ construction.The bed legs and side rails where secured together with leather thongs. These would have been soaked in water, wrapped around the joint and passed through the holes in the top of the leg, then tied firmly and allowed to dry. The drying action would make the thong contract and cramp the jointed firmly.