As it’s almost Valentine’s Day, it seems appropriate to discuss a theme which has inspired many artists across history and cultures: love.

This image is taken from the throne found in the Tomb of Tutankhamun and dates from around 1370 – 1352 BCE. It depicts a tender moment between the young pharaoh and his wife as she anoints his shoulder with scented oil.

Embellished with gold, silver and semi-precious stones, it is an exquisite depiction of love and affection. In Ancient Egypt, marriage was held as sacred bond between lovers. Although marriage contracts were often created to establish rights and guarantee possessions, artefacts from the era indicate marriages were generally happy and consensual.

This throne, however, is more than a symbol of love. In Ancient Egypt, chairs were regarded as a mark of prestige. Ordinary people usually sat on the ground when cooking or eating and even the more affluent scribes squatted on the floor when writing. Usually, the higher the chair, the wealthier the owner was. In fact, the hieroglyph of a figure sitting on a chair [see below] denoted “blessed”, “dignitary” and “honourable”.


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