Bull's leg from furniture

Accession Number
Current Location
House of Life (first floor), Woodwork case
Object Type
Furniture, Furniture element
Middle Kingdom
Height: 270mm
Number of Elements

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A leg from a piece of furniture in the form of a bull's leg. It dates to the Middle Kingdom. Bovine legs are often found in early Dynastic royal graves. It has been suggested that this is because of the association of the king with the bull. They were later copied by the nobility. However, early Dynastic legs are usually much chunkier than later ones. This item was purchased by Wellcome from the Rustafjaell sale of 1906.


Needler, W. 'Predynastic and Archaic Egypt In The Brooklyn Museum'. Killen, G. 2002. John Garstang's Discovery of Wooden Furniture at the Middle Kingdom Necropolis of Beni Hasan. In Eldamaty, M. and Trad M. (eds.) 'Egyptian Museum Collections around the World' vol. 1. Cairo: The Supreme Council of Antiquities, 645-656.

Other Identity
W2052 (number given from G Killen.) | 152/24 (label on object)
Sotheby, Wilkinson, & Hodge: 19–21 Dec 1906, Lot 152
Previous Owners
Robert de Rustafjaell (1859–1943) | Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome (1853–1936)
Long-term loan, The Wellcome Trust (15 Feb 1971)
Last modified: 17 Feb 2021

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