Friday 31 October 2014
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The star's path for Tutankhamun in a folding chair by Antoine Gigal

In a country where sand is everywhere the folding chair was considered one of the most important furniture in Ancient Egypt. Not only because it was transported around by the Egyptian army in campaign to be used by their officers mainly during the Middle Kingdom (2000-1630BC) as an easily portable camp seat and then became a kind of status symbol in many homes as a seat of dignity with elaborately inlaid decorations, but also because it was used before as a portable altar for spiritual and ceremonial purposes.
What is interesting is that the artwork displayed in quite all the folding chairs made of a large variety of materials and styles, in cedar, ebony, leather or wicker, with ivory, gold decorative elements or silver animal-legged with papyrus side rails, lattices etc... it is always depicting for those who can understand, some major themes of the Egyptian spiritual high knowledge.
The folding chair on the photo is from the Tomb of Tutankhamun, now in the Egyptian National Museum. You can see on it a cow stylized skin and the stool legs are decorated with duck heads their mouth open to bite the horizontal bars that form the base and it is decorated with ebony inlaid and ivory.
If Egyptian soldiers'shields were usually made out of cowhide... this time this is not referring to military times. I even think that this folding chair was not one of the objects he used for his personal life but has been specially built for the tomb of Tutankhamon and for his afterlife...
- Hathor, Isis, Nut and Bat were goddesses who were often depicted as cows and the divine cow came to symbolize the mother of the pharaoh, a living God. Nut was seen as a mother-figure to the sun god Ra. She was shown in Egyptian artwork as a dark, star-covered naked woman, holding her body up in an arc... As a goddess who gave birth to the sun each day, she became connected with the underworld, resurrection and the tomb. She was seen as a friend to the dead, as a mother-like protector to those who journeyed through the land of the dead. The ducks are used in hieroglyphics for the word son. The starry night sky on a cowhide symbolizes exactly the affection of a mother for her son and the care she will take to lead him to the other world ...the star's path...

AntoineGigal 2013
The star's path  for Tutankhamun in a folding chair
The star's path for Tutankhamun in a folding chair
Gigal Research 2013