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4,000-year-old Egyptian model boat sails away as top selling lot at Bonhams Antiquities Sale
A wooden model boat from the Egyptian Middle Period 2123-1797 B.C, sold for £161,000. Photo: Bonhams.


LONDON.- A large wooden model boat from the Egyptian Middle Period 2123-1797 B.C, sold for £161,000 at Bonhams Antiquities Sale in London today. The boat had been estimated at £30,000-50,000.

Boats were an integral part of Egyptian everyday life and mythology and as such they were considered necessary in the afterlife. Usually two model boats were provided for each tomb, one showing the crew sailing south with the prevailing wind and the other with the crew rowing north.

The boat was originally bought by British army officer, Esmond Sinauer, in Egypt in the early part of the 20th century and passed by descent to the Scottish private collection from which it was consigned for sale.

In total the sale made more than £1,310,000.

Other highlights included:

• A late Egyptian Bronze Cat from around 664-30 B.C estimated at £20,000-30,000 which sold for £137,000. The cat had been in the well-known collection of the Antiquities dealer Raymond Richardson who acquired it in the 1950s.

• A Roman Marble Mask of a Woman from the 1st century A.D. which sold for £102,500 having been estimated at £20,000-30,000.

• A Roman Marble torso of a man estimated at £30,000-50,000 which sold for £60,000.

Bonhams Senior Specialist in Antiquities, Siobhan Quin, said,” The wooden boat was an exceptionally fine work of particularly impressive dimensions which attracted a lot pre-sale interest, reflected in keen bidding in the sale room on the phones and on the internet. In a strong sale, a first-century bronze Egyptian cat also stood out, but many other pieces also exceeded their estimates.”





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