Tut Exhibit - King Tutankhamun Exhibit, Collection: Statues, Sculptures and Containers - Alabaster Model of Unknown Use

The Tutankhamun Exhibit

Statues, Sculptures and Containers

Alabaster model of unknown use with ibex headed boat and sarcophagus amidships

Alabaster Model of Unknown Use

The most intricately carved of the calcite objects found in the Annex is this elaborate composition consisting of a base in the form of a chest, upon which are incised bands of floral and geometric patterns. The chest itself stands on four legs and has been partially hollowed out. From its center rises a trapezoidal support decorated with stalks of papyrus plants, and the boat rests upon it.

The bow of the boat takes the form of the head and neck of an ibex, and another ibex, facing the same way, forms the stern. While the ears of both animals were pierced, the left ear of the rear figure retained its earring. An incised and painted pattern on the hull of the boat parallels the pattern on the base. Around the necks of both animals is a collar consisting of inlays of gold and colored glass.

A figure of a seated female is carved at the front of the boat. Here, golden earrings, an armlet, and a bead bracelet are still intact, and her wig is carved from gray stone. She holds a stained ivory lotus in her left hand. Behind her is a canopy supported by four ornate columns each of which has four screen walls, which may represent as well a sarcophagus or a cabin. In shape, it is similar to the base of the composition, and it is decorated with floral as well as geometric patterns. It may have served as a container for oil or an unguent, but Carter did not record finding any substance remaining. He considered the piece an ornament or a centerpiece.

At the rear of the object, another figure stands at the stern and holds a sounding pole in both hands. This one is a female dwarf, and she too wears a wig carved of gray stone.

Like the horns of the vessel in the form of an ibex, those of both animals here are real ibex horns. The ibex on the prow still has its characteristic beard intact. The markings are painted, and the details of the eyes are painted on the underside of glass or crystal pieces. The throne name of the king and the personal names of both he and his wife are written on the front of the support.

Last Updated: June 12th, 2011