- Museum number
Model boat with raised openwork prow and stern, made of threaded cloves, originally with three rowers either side back and front, separated by central enclosure at one end of which fly two pennants. Also originally with additional figure standing in prow, and possibly two figures on top of enclosure. (Complement in 1996 is three rowers back and front on one side, and two back and front on the other; only one pennant remaining).
- Production date
- 18thC (late)-20thC (early)
Height: 30 centimetres
Length: 58 centimetres
Depth: 23 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Label from temporary exhibition in Room 69a, November 2014 - May 2015 'Connecting Continents: Indian Ocean trade and exchange':
Spices and Seafaring
This model boat and its figures, believed to be from Indonesia, are made almost entirely from cloves. Intended for cooking, the dried cloves here are tightly packed together, bound with thread and still have a strong aroma today.
Spices, such as cloves and nutmeg from Indonesia and pepper from India, have been highly desirable and valuable goods for over 4,000 years.
This boat, with its decorative prow and stern, is likely to be a model of a kora kora - a long narrow vessel with considerable storage for trade whcih was also used for warfare. These novelty models were popular with visitors to the Indonesian Spice Islands from the AD 1700s onwards.
Object details -
Model boat made of threaded cloves
Probably from Indonesia
Means of acquisition unknown. Originally depicted on an Asia collections "No Number" Slip (date unknown) where drawn and stated to be from "Philippines". (This Slip was given object number "83" for documentation purposes by CDMS staff in 1983.) Identified as being the "No Number" item by AMD,5/1996.
Amongst the broken parts which are stored with this model there is an item which appears to be a lid for a container. There is a container made of cloves currently numbered As1972,Q.1629 which may go with the lid. It is not clear whether the container and lid belong with the boat model; they do not appear in the regisration slip drawing.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2014-2015 27 Nov-31 May, London, British Museum, Indian Ocean
2019-2020 Sept-Jan, Gallery 91, Sir Stamford Raffles
- Some parts broken loose - stored in enclosure within overall box.
- Acquisition notes
- Acquisition details unknown.
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
CDMS number: As,N/N.83 (Asia "No Number" Slip (object no. allocated by CDMS staff))