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Assyrian Furniture

The furniture of Assyria has all perished, and it is only from sculptures that any of it can be reconstructed. Furniture pictured on paper only, or in the form of a reconstructed model, is of very little interest to the home connoisseur, and yet it is worth while to enquire into the furnishings of the homes of all nations, past and present, in order that the inspirations which have governed the artists of more modern days may be fully understood, for as we have seen the Far East and the art of Asiatic nations influenced Grecian artists, and from Greece art flowed westward.

From sculptures it would appear that the King's throne in the palace of Nimrod, B.C. 880, was not a particularly comfortable seat. It was without back, but the seat itself was probably upholstered or covered with skins. This seat or chair was well built on square legs which ended in moulded tapering feet, and it was ornamental, the ram's head being the chief design incorporated in the decoration. The Assyrians favoured cedar wood, but in Nineveh and Judea, at the time of King Solomon, ebony, teak, and Indian walnut were used, and they were frequently overlaid and inlaid with ivory. Biblical records of the furniture of Judea are especially interesting.. Solomon is said to have possessed a bed of cedar wood, with pillars of silver and a golden bottom. The furnishings of a homely residence in the time of the prophet Elisha are recorded in Scripture, for Elisha was provided with a bed, a chair, a table, and a lamp in the guest chamber in which he was entertained.

In the Book of Esther the luxuriant upholstery and textiles of the Persians in the fifth century B.C. are referred to in the following terms :" White, green, and blue hangings fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble. The beds were of gold and silver."

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

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