Furniture Part (Chair)



This small chair leg forms one of the back legs of a straight back chair, which is commonly found from the Middle Kingdom onwards. It is unusual for it has four mortise holes along its length. Most chairs would only have front and back supporting rails below the seat and not as this example has with supporting rails across each leg. The leg extended above the seat rail and reduced in thickness to provide the support for a simple backrest. The quality of the craftsmanship is very fine. This is illustrated by how true the material is, being prepared by saw and adze, and the positioning and accuracy of the mortise and tenon joints. One tenon is still firmly wedged in its mortise long after the seat rail has been broken away. From the same chair as object number 1973.1.652. Possibly purchased at Sotheby's, London, 19-21 December 1906 like other furniture parts in the Wellcome collection. CONDITION NOTE (1998): Dry, some splitting, discolouration, surface dirt, remnants of pigment.