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RB1407

A Roman Iron Campaign Folding Stool (Stella Castrensis), Roman Imperial, ca. 1st century AD

The X-form folding stool comprising of two rectangular frames that pivot on a circular iron finial pin in the center of the long sides, with one long and two short seat rails, rounded knobs terminating all corners of the seat rails, the base with support rails across the bottom, and knobbed feet. 

Background:  The Roman folding chair is a part of the tradition of ancient Italian command insignia. Such chairs, called "sella" were already used as symbols of status and command at the time of the Etruscans and the early Roman period. During the Roman Republican and Imperial periods, the folding chair, the so-called " Curulian chair", together with the fasces, were the essential insignia of consuls, praetors, censors, and aediles. This example is the iron field chair, the so-called " sella castrensis or "camp stool", that was particularly common for military authority and essentially reserved for commanders in the field.  

Such chairs are depicted in a number of ancient Roman coins, one noteworthy example being  the Emperor Caligula standing left on a dais, addressing troops in an event known as an adlocutio cohortium (address to the cohorts), the sella castrensis behind him (Gaius (Caligula). AD 37-41. Æ Sestertius (27.99 g, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 37-38.)

Exhibited:   The Living Torah Museum, Brooklyn (2006 - 2014).

Condition:  Cleaned and professionally conserved in excellent condition overall

Dimensions:  Height:  50.8cm (20 inches) 

Provenance:   Private German collection since 1960's said to have been excavated from a Roman fort in Germany, thereafter with the Living Torah Museum, Brooklyn.

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