Egyptian Wooden Seated Boatman Figurine

£ 1,150.00

An ancient Egyptian, seated, wooden figurine, depicting a boatman, used for model boat groups. He wears a short kilt, painted white, whilst a black wig covers his head. His left arm is raised horizontally, palm facing inwards. The right arm lies diagonally at his side, fist clenched, leaving a hole from which an oar would have been placed. The figure’s legs are depicted together, showing originally he was seated on an additional, separate block. Painted details appear on the face; with large almond shaped eyes, and to the hands and feet, depicting the white’s of the nails.

Date: Circa 2055-1650 BC
Period: Middle Kingdom
Provenance: Ex Dorset collection, acquired 1980s-1990s.
Condition: Excellent. Some professional restoration to the hands and feet, specifically the nail pigment. Stable cracks to the back of the figure and feet, most likely due to the expansion of the wood.
Product Code: ES-195
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Wooden tomb models were an Egyptian funerary custom throughout the Middle Kingdom Period, which saw wooden figurines and sets constructed to be placed in the tombs of Egyptian royalty and the elite class. The wooden models reflected a variety of tasks and chores which servants would be expected to carry out in the afterlife, and accordingly, many are depicted as performing a certain task. Figurines of male and female workers carrying food stock, making beer or bread, or performing agricultural tasks have all been discovered. The two former categories are especially linked to the offerings found within the Egyptian offering formula (ḥtp-di-nsw formula), which was inscribed or painted onto the walls of tombs. Within this formula the deceased would offer a specific inventory of goods, including: bread, ox, alabaster, beer, fowl and linen. Boat models and their crew were also a common find, representing the crew and vessel that would carry the deceased through the afterlife. The importance of these models is evident by their continued use within the New Kingdom. Worker and offering models lost their popularity within the New Kingdom, with shabtis becoming the preferred figurine.

Dimensions H 10 cm



North Africa

Reference: For a similar item: The British Museum, London, item EA34273

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