17 May 2011

Quasi-review: Tut's Tote

Tutankhamun. Some of his stuff is at the Melbourne Museum at the moment.
Did I say stuff? - sorry,  I meant treasure.
Egyptian metalwork is especially interesting to me, so of course I took the family along to see.
"No Photos allowed."
Well there goes that blog post.

Still, let's press on bravely, using wall paintings and old photos that are public domain.

To put it in a technical perspective, Egyptian metalworkers didnt use steel tools*.
 (Tut was from the late bronze age).
Almost every tool in the workshop of today's goldsmith has steel parts.



Here is a wall painting of an Egyptian goldsmith working at a small furnace, possibly soldering- using a blow pipe to make the fire hotter, and using tongs- probably of copper or bronze.



Again, more detail this time, ancient goldsmiths at work; weighing ingots of gold ( dig the bull's head weight)- and various manual tasks; scribing,  chiseling, adzing. ( I think those black objets they are working on are carved wooden forms that are then overlaid with gold sheet.) The guys on the bottom left are bearing finished items- I see a beaded neck-piece.


Carter brushing dust of Tut's sarcophagus. The outer one here is wood overlaid with gold sheet (thicker than gold leaf)- very skillfully applied, such continuous sheet ( seams are not visible anyway)




These were very intersting objects in the exhibition; a horn and its last; an insert to protect the form- (not a mute for Egyptian Jazz??) This was of very thin sheet metal, quite finely smitten.



Love a bit of bad conservatorial practice- someone actually played this horn to see what it would sound like!
(He's probably from the Peabody?)



And here is the back of Tut's mask. For once. There he goes...



My little Joe made up a song about Tutankhamun:

"Toooot-n-car-min! doot-n-doo-doo!"

Its catchy.


*well, if you want to be pettyfogging, there were some iron tools and weapons in Egypt as early as 4000BC, made from a iron-nickel alloy found in meteors- which was rare and probably more highly prized than gold at the time, and therefore probably only for ceremonial use...but I digress.

Cue Jonathan Richman, and I'm out.



No comments:

Post a Comment