Ancient Mediterranean

Digital Project

Ship model

Cat. No.





Cyprus, further provenance unknown


L: 9.7 cm


terracotta boat model with black and red painted decoration

Accession Number

previously Desmond Morris Collection, Oxford, DM-B1-188


Dolan 2023: 516-517, no. 85; Karageorghis 1996: 76, no.V(b):28, fig. 61; Morris 1985: pl. 289

Low flat hull. One of the stem is incurving, while the other ends in a low canopy. The exterior of the ship is painted red, with additional details painted over in black. The black details consist of two horizontal bands, one running along the gunwale, the other along the keel, with oblique bands in between. Four of these oblique lines are still clearly visible but there were likely more which are now faded.

The place and circumstances of the model’s discovery are unknown. The object was in the personal collection of Desmond Morris until 1985, when it was sold at auction.

Dolan, M. 2023. Ceci n'est pas un bateau: Reassessing terracotta boat models in Late Bronze and Iron Age Cyprus. University of Southhampton. Unpublished DPhil Thesis.

Karageorghis, V. 1996. The coroplastic Art of ancient Cyprus. VI. Monsters, Animals and Miscellanea. Nicosia: A.G. Leventis Foundation.

Morris, D. 1985. The Art of Ancient Cyprus. Oxford: Phaidon.

  • copyright icon © Morris 1985: pl. 289 Click for fullscreen