Satamon’s armchair: a last “present” for the eternity of his grandparents …

Standard

Or Throne of Princess Sitamun.

Satamon armchair – stuccoed wood and gold leaf – 18th Dynasty – Reign of Amenhotep III
From the tomb of Youya and Touya (Valley of the Kings – KV 46) discovered in February 1905
by Theodore Monroe Davis on behalf of the Antiquities Department
Egyptian Museum in Cairo – CG 51113

The Throne of Princess Sitamun is an artefact from the tomb of Yuya and Tjuyu, which belonged to their granddaughter, Princess Sitamun, the daughter of Pharaoh Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye of the 18th Dynasty. Wikipedia

There we go again! A story about a throne, which is so beautiful that, by sitting on it, we must feel like a Queen or King. Another amazing reportage by Marie Grillot with a lovely anecdote at the end. 😊🙏💖

Via https://egyptophile.blogspot.com/

The pharaohs and their relatives were, for their beyond, accompanied by objects, witnesses of their environment, which were to last for their eternity. We must also not forget that they were beings who had loved, who were loved and mourned when they died.

Thus in their funeral material, we find memories of their venerated ancestors or even testimonies of affection that their relatives left with one can imagine, intense emotion, in their last home.

How not to mention the coffin of Queen Ahhotep in which were, among other things, bracelets and weapons in the name of Ahmosis I? Or, the tomb of Tutankhamun where were found, in small sarcophagi, a gold statuette-pendant of Amenophis III wearing the khepresh (an ancient Egyptian royal headdress) as well as a lock of hair of Queen Tiyi carefully placed in a linen cloth, testimonies of the deep attachment that bound him to these two sovereigns who, according to the assumptions of Howard Carter, were perhaps his grandparents.

Satamon armchair – stuccoed wood and gold leaf – 18th Dynasty – Reign of Amenhotep III
From the tomb of Youya and Touya (Valley of the Kings – KV 46) discovered in February 1905
by Theodore Monroe Davis on behalf of the Antiquities Department
Egyptian Museum in Cairo – CG 51113

In KV 46, the tomb of Yuya and Touya, Tiyi’s parents, there is also a touching proof of attachment: it was left there by Satamon …

Satamon (The Daughter of Amun) was the eldest daughter of Tiyi and Amenhotep III – the great pharaoh who ruled the Two Lands for over thirty years – and therefore the granddaughter of Yuya and Touya. “She especially distinguished herself towards the end of the reign of Amenhotep III by becoming the wife of her own father herself. Educated in the harem of Miour, she had grown up in the entourage of her maternal grandparents, and this is probably a token of affection that, during the funeral of Yuya or Touya in the Valley of the Kings, she had a superb armchair in gilded wood placed in their common tomb “, specifies Christian Leblanc in his” Queens of the Nile “.

Satamon armchair – stuccoed wood and gold leaf – 18th Dynasty – Reign of Amenhotep III
From the tomb of Youya and Touya (Valley of the Kings – KV 46) discovered in February 1905
by Theodore Monroe Davis on behalf of the Antiquities Department
Egyptian Museum in Cairo – CG 51113

This magnificent piece of furniture testifies to the refinement which then reigned at the court and the degree of mastery achieved by the cabinetmakers of this flourishing period.

The four feet take the form of the lion’s paws; the two front legs and the two rear legs are connected and fixed by a wooden crosspiece whose end caps are gilded. The seat is wide and seems comfortable … As for the backrest, it can only charm us …

Detail of Satamon’s armchair – stuccoed wood and gold leaf – 18th Dynasty – Reign of Amenhotep III
From the tomb of Youya and Touya (Valley of the Kings – KV 46) discovered in February 1905
by Theodore Monroe Davis on behalf of the Antiquities Department
Egyptian Museum in Cairo – CG 51113

Under the solar disk, with long outstretched wings, gilded with gold leaf, is represented – also with gold leaf – a scene in two sequences, quite charming and delicate.

In “Treasures of Egypt – The Wonders of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo”, Francesco Tiradritti gives this interesting description: “Inside a pergola, whose roof is decorated with lotus flowers in turn open and in buds, the figurative field is divided into two parts, where the same scene is repeated in the mirror, with a few variations. A woman whom the hieroglyphic inscriptions designate as “the king’s daughter the great, his beloved one Satamon, is seated on a seat placed on a mat”. The princess wears a short wig, from which hangs on the side a long braid, held by a band, which ends on the forehead with a gazelle’s head. On the head stands the hieroglyph of the plant of papyrus, a symbol of fertility and rebirth. Only dressed in a long transparent skirt, decorated with wavy folds, Satamon holds the sistrum in her right hand, and the ‘Menat’ necklace in her left hand: these two musical instruments were shaken by women during processions where the simulacrum of the divinity carried outside the temple; the sound emitted was so loud and unpleasant that it was supposed to ward off evil spirits.

Besides earrings, the princess wears a large necklace and bracelets on the wrists. A young girl, who is standing in front of her, presents her with a necklace on a tray. Wearing a short wig held by a headband, she wears earrings, a large necklace, bracelets and a skirt that goes down to the ankles. A rectangular object is placed on her head: it could be a lump of scented fat, although these bits are usually shaped like a cone. Similar objects are found on the heads of dancers adorning the walls of tombs from the same period. The hieroglyphic inscription which surmounts the young girl describes her gesture: ‘to carry the gold of the foreign countries of the south’. “

The armrests, high and wide, tell a whole story: gilded, again, with gold leaf, it is available in several scenes which are reproduced on their interior and their exterior.

Detail of an armrest from Satamon’s armchair – stuccoed wood and gold leaf – 18th Dynasty – Reign of Amenhotep III
From the tomb of Youya and Touya (Valley of the Kings – KV 46) discovered in February 1905
by Theodore Monroe Davis on behalf of the Antiquities Department
Egyptian Museum in Cairo – CG 51113

On the right armrest, on the outside, the god Bes is represented three times: the first two play the drum while the last dances with knives in his hands.

Detail of an armrest from Satamon’s armchair – stuccoed wood and gold leaf – 18th Dynasty – Reign of Amenhotep III
From the tomb of Youya and Touya (Valley of the Kings – KV 46) discovered in February 1905
by Theodore Monroe Davis on behalf of the Antiquities Department
Egyptian Museum in Cairo – CG 51113

On the left armrest, on the outside, this theme is repeated in part: two representations of Bes – one playing the drum and the other dancing with the knives – surround a goddess Thouéris who seems unfazed by the noise and the rhythm.

Detail of an armrest from Satamon’s armchair – stuccoed wood and gold leaf – 18th Dynasty – Reign of Amenhotep III
From the tomb of Youya and Touya (Valley of the Kings – KV 46) discovered in February 1905
by Theodore Monroe Davis on behalf of the Antiquities Department
Egyptian Museum in Cairo – CG 51113

As for the scenes adorning the inside of the armrests, they are very touching: they represent a procession of four slender, elegant young girls, identically dressed and carrying the hieroglyph of the papyrus plant on their heads. They hold trays in their hands-on which are placed gold rings.

Detail of Satamon’s armchair – stuccoed wood and gold leaf – 18th Dynasty – Reign of Amenhotep III
From the tomb of Youya and Touya (Valley of the Kings – KV 46) discovered in February 1905
by Theodore Monroe Davis on behalf of the Antiquities Department
Egyptian Museum in Cairo – CG 51113

At the front of the end of the armrest, in their lower part, with a female head whose face, neck, collar and crown, are covered with gold. Her wig, rather short and nicely crafted, has retained the natural colour of the wood.

The tomb of Yuya and Touya was unearthed in 1905 by the team of Theodore Monroe Davis, who had obtained from Gaston Maspero, in 1902, the concession of the Valley of the Kings.

Although it was looted at least twice in antiquity, the hypogeum could deliver not only the couple’s mummies but also magnificent funerary furniture, jewellery, scarabs, seals, crockery, musical instruments, statues…

Satamon armchair – stuccoed wood and gold leaf – 18th Dynasty – Reign of Amenhotep III
From the tomb of Youya and Touya (Valley of the Kings – KV 46) discovered in February 1905
by Theodore Monroe Davis on behalf of the Antiquities Department
Egyptian Museum in Cairo – CG 51113
Watercolour by Howard Carter published in “The tomb of Iouiya and Touiyou: the finding of the tomb” by T.M. Davis

The excavation of the tomb will be supervised by James Edward Quibell, who then replaced Howard Carter as Inspector General of Upper Egyptian Monuments in Thebes.

In his excellent work “History of the Valley of the Kings”, John Romer relates an incredible story that Quibell liked to relate: “During the cleaning of the tomb of Yuya and Tchouiou, one afternoon he received the visit of an old lady, wearing a dirty old coat and wearing a funny cloche hat. Her companion, a hurried-looking man, called her ‘Your Highness’. Quibell, unaware of the identity of her interlocutor, did the same. He deeply regretted it and explained to his hosts that the tomb had been emptied of almost all of its riches and begged them to excuse him for having no seat to offer them. Seeing Satamon’s chair, the old lady assured him that it was a perfect fit for her and sat down without further ado. Fortunately, the siege resisted! The archaeologists, much embarrassed, found themselves compelled to ask ‘Her Highness’ to stand up. “

During his final trip to Egypt in 1905,
Empress Eugènie will visit the tomb of Yuya and Touya.

It was, in fact, Empress Eugenie, widow of Napoleon III, who, at 79 years old, accompanied by her cousin, the Count Joseph Napoléon Primoli, made her second trip to Egypt. The first one, surrounded by an incredible splendour, took place in the fall of 1869, on the occasion of the inauguration of the Suez Canal, preceded by a trip to Upper Egypt with Auguste Mariette as a guide.

This armchair is exhibited at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square in Cairo, where, is registered in the general catalogue under the reference CG 51113.

Marie Grillot

Sources:

The tomb of Iouiya and Touiyou: the finding of the tomb, by Davis, Theodore M., Maspero, G. (Gaston), 1846-1916, Newberry, Percy E. (Percy Edward), 1869-1949; Carter, Howard, 1873-1939, 1907, London: A. Constable and Co. https://archive.org/stream/tombofiouiyatoui03davi/tombofiouiyatoui03davi_djvu.txt

https://archive.org/details/tombofiouiyatoui03davi

Tomb of Yuaa and Thuiu, Quibell, James Edward, 1867-1935; Egypt. Maslahat al-Athar, Cairo: Impr. from the French Institute of Oriental Archeology, 1908

https://archive.org/details/tombofyuaathuiu00quib

Queens of the Nile, Christian Leblanc, The Library of the Untraceable, 2009The complete Valley of the Kings, Nicholas Reeves, Richard H. Wilkinson, The American University in Cairo Press
History of the Valley of the Kings, John Romer, Vernal – Philippe Lebaud, 1991
Treasures of Egypt – The Wonders of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Francesco Tiradritti
12 queens of Egypt who changed history, Pierre Tallet
The treasures of ancient Egypt at the Cairo museum, National Geographic

4 thoughts on “Satamon’s armchair: a last “present” for the eternity of his grandparents …

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.