Leg of a folding stool

Accession Number
Current Location
House of Life (first floor), Woodwork case
Object Type
Furniture, Seat, Folding stool
New Kingdom
Egypt, Thebes/Luxor
Height: 223mm
Number of Elements

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A leg from a folding stool terminating in a duck's head. 'Theban' is written upon it in red. Although folding stools date from the Middle Kingdom, most are New Kingdom in date. By the New Kingdom pieces are more elaborate with such duck head terminals. It is thus assumed that this example dates to the New Kingdom. Folding stools appear in tomb paintings as well as being included as tomb furniture. A number have ivory inlay in the eyes and beak; it is possible that this example was once inlaid. A stool from the tomb of Tutankhamun imitates the folding stool in its duck head terminals and general appearance. It is, however, rigid. It has been suggested that the folding stool was a status symbol, and certainly the examples with ivory inlay are unlikely to have been used by the majority of the population. In tomb decoration, stools seem to have been used by people of rank.


Wanscher, O., 1980. 'Sella Curulis. The Folding Stool An Ancient Symbol Of Dignity.' Copenhagen: Rosenkilde and Bagger. Also, Sweeney, D. 1998. 'The man on the folding chair: an Egyptian relief from Beth Shean', Israel Exploration Journal 48, 38-53.