The Tutankhamun Exhibit
Furniture and Boxes
Tutankhamun's Gold Throne
The golden throne that Howard Carter discovered in the Antechamber beneath the hippopotamus couch is similar to the chair belonging to Sitamun. The style was popular for royal chairs of the Eighteenth Dynasty. Instead of female torsos protruding from the seat, however, the more traditional lions are in their place. Carved of wood, the armchair is covered in gold, and there is some silver overlay as well. Colored glass, faience, calcite, and semi-precious stones are used for the inlays.
The carved plant motif between the feline-form legs has been removed by the robbers, but the delicate openwork design of the arms remains intact. On either side, a winged cobra wears the double crown and rests on a basket. Her outstretched wings enclose the hieroglyphs for the "king of Upper and Lower Egypt" followed by the sign for infinity (shen). A cartouche of the king is at the end of her wings on either side of the chair.
The back of the chair is supported by three vertical struts; the outer two are carved with the king's Aton name, the middle one with that of the queen. Four hooded cobra with solar disks rise up in pairs between each of the supports. A carved and gilded scene with birds in a thicket appears on the outer surface of the back of the seat. In the triangular opening formed between the diagonal of the back and the vertical support on each side is a hooded cobra. The one on the left wears the red crown of Lower Egypt, while the one on the right has the white crown of Upper Egypt.
The iconography relates to Atonist doctrines, but the names of the king and queen appearing on the chair use both the earlier (Aton) and later (Amon) forms. Such a combination indicate that the chair was probably produced rather early in Tutankhamun's reign, during the period of transition to the orthodox religion.