Tut Exhibit - King Tutankhamun Exhibit, Collection: Furniture and Boxes - Chest with Applied Gilded Decoration

The Tutankhamun Exhibit

Furniture and Boxes

Chest with Applied Gilded Decoration

Chest with Applied Gilded Decoration

Several boxes were placed next to each other on the north side of the Treasury. One of the most elaborately decorated of these is illustrated here. The basic wood structure was, according to Carter, cedar. The ivory knobs were stained red. Horizontal and vertical bands of ivory were applied to all four sides and the lid, and a hieroglyphic inscription giving the formal names of the king, which he received at his coronation, were incised and then filled in with black pigment. The queen's name is also recorded on the bands.

The spacing of the ivory bands leaves open several horizontal panels on each of the sides and the lid. In these spaces is an openwork design in carved and gilded wood. Applied to the wood, these golden hieroglyphs, ankh, was and neb, mean "all life and dominion". In the six panels on the roof, the hieroglyphs are arranged in trios, an ankh flanked by a was sign, and underneath is a neb basket. The hieroglyphs on the sides, however, are not as symmetrically arranged. Each of the four legs is capped in silver. The interior of the box has sixteen small compartments, and each division was edged in ivory.

Because of the small size of the inner partitions, Carter surmised that the original contents were gold or silver cosmetic jars. All had been stolen in antiquity, and the necropolis officials, who restore order to the tomb, utilized the chest for objects of lesser value, such as a basket and some scribal equipment.