Ancient Egyptian model boat
An Egyptian Middle Kingdom, c.2133-1797BC, gesso-painted wood model boat, estimated at £30,000-50,000 at Bonhams’ antiquities sale.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

A highlight of the Bonhams sale is this large 4ft 3in (1.3m) Middle Kingdom, c.2133-1797BC gesso-painted wood model boat, estimated at £30,000-50,000.

Manned by 10 sailors arranged in two parallel rows, this funerary piece would have been placed in a tomb for the deceased to journey into the afterlife. It has descended through the family of Lieutenant Colonel Esmond Sinauer, who acquired it in Egypt when serving as a young major in the British army during the early 20th century.

Sinauer collected other Egyptian antiquities, including a bronze Osiris that he mounted on his Rolls Royce in place of the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ mascot. 

Christie’s and Chiswick Auctions will also hold antiquities sales in London on December 6 and 7.