Freud liked to read in a somewhat peculiar way. Lying diagonally, with legs dangling on the arm of the chair and the head unsupported, keeping the book upright. To make this position more comfortable, his daughter Matilde gave him this chair designed in 1930 by the architect Felix Augenfeld. Witnesses of all this must have been the many small Greek or Asian Egyptian sculptures that resided on his table. Precious individuals for the stories they represented, these figures belonged to the civilizations that he had so deeply interpreted. They were able to materialize the imaginary heritage of psychoanalysis based on verbal and mental phenomena. They offered him presence where there was absence, welcoming the heritage of dreams and myths through which psychoanalysis would submerge in the first stage of human existence.
Looking at this picture that Engelman took of this chair, it seems as if whoever sat had just left. Of course, the desk appears full of statuettes among which stands out the tall figure of Nieth. In the Predynastic times it was considered an androgynous deity, a transformative quality that fascinated Freud. The Wolf Man was who gave it to him. Half hidden, more to the left, just in front of the folder, is Amon-Ra with its distinctive and prominent feather duster. On the side table we see the Chinese sage with whom he greeted himself before sitting down and starting work. This wise man is accompanied by Imhotep, doctor and architect. All this has been captured in a photograph where the inhabitant is absent but the traces remain. In a somewhat disturbing, strange way, the half-turned chair alludes to the daily movements of someone who is not present. Who knows if in fact the real reason for this contortionist way of reading was to share the book with his silent colleagues.