The Stone Barge

by maggie

stoneboat

Many years ago Dad made the Barge of Stones. It appeared one day in the clutter of his studio. There were always interesting bits of wood littering the house,  rescued from his time working in Exhibitions at Kew (the Botanic Gardens). He had stood up a semicircle of pitch pine and secured to it’s deck with string and kindling some of our extensive pebble collection. It wasn’t much of a thing, yet it put me in mind of an Egyptian model boat taken from some tomb. Those barges took their cargos into the afterlife. They had both a mysterious destination and freight.

BS.9524

BS.9524

For many years our boat sailed serenely on window sill until Mum took it apart because no one was doing anything with it… which is an unnerving propensity for anyone to have, let alone a mother. Things like the Stone Barge don’t have to have a use, and it’s constituent parts certainly don’t.

So the Barge of Stones is no more, it sails on only in my memory and imagination; maybe now it will sail on on yours.

Stick the code into the  Museum number and Provenance search to find out more about the model. I leave it as an exercise for the student for more information about Egyptian funerals if they care to.

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