Accurate reproduction of an ancient Egyptian chair from the 18th Dynasty
January 5, 2023 1:06 PM   Subscribe

Accurate reproduction of an ancient Egyptian chair from the 18th Dynasty
As part of a personal project to gain greater understanding of ancient Egyptian joinery techniques, I've made a replica of an Egyptian chair on display in the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

I'd like to thank MeFites for their kind comments on my previous Theban stool project. Their encouragement led me to submit it to Fine Woodworking. It was a real hoot to see my photos in an actual paper magazine.

The coverage of this current project isn’t as in-depth (or the subject as visually arresting) as the previous one but I thought folks here might still find it interesting. I promise to “cool it” going forward and will not glut MeFi Projects with woodworking blog posts.
Role: Maker
posted by brachiopod (4 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

The skill is amazing, but to me, the commitment and persistence is even more astounding. I have subscribed to your feed, so that I can get an uncooled flow of woodworking blog posts!

BTW, do you know if the Egyptians had glue?
posted by ignignokt at 6:42 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]

I would love to see more woodworking blog posts, personally! Bring them on!

This is wonderful work. Those seat top braces are particularly lovely.
posted by mochapickle at 7:58 AM on January 6

Thanks. I’ll try to put up a build page for a double sliding lid box in the next few weeks.

Yes ignignokt, I used the same glue as the Egyptians which is called hide glue. It's a gelatin made from boiling down animal skins and bones (happens to be exactly the same stuff as gummy bears and jello). For this chair, Egyptians mixed powdered stone into theirs, presumably as a gap filler. A glue/stone mixture would be termed a type of “gesso”.

They used adhesives and binders specific to other handicrafts as well, like resin from trees (mastic and gum Arabic) and asphalt (bitumen) as binders in inks, glue for inlay decoration, embalming paste and a coffin sealing “black goo” used in interment rites.

It's amazing to me that all these adhesives were still in wide use up until the development of synthetics less than 100 years ago and are still needed for traditional crafts like stone lithography and water gilding. Hide glue remains popular with many luthiers and furniture makers.
posted by brachiopod at 9:29 AM on January 6 [4 favorites]

double sliding lid box is up now.
posted by brachiopod at 9:28 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]

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