Silver Aswan Dam Model sells for $100K

CAIRO: A 75-year-old silver model of the Aswan Dam that belonged to Egypt’s King Farouk I (1920-1965) and celebrated the inauguration of the dam was sold for $100,000 at the Heritage Auctions House in Texas Sunday.

The model, which shows the three construction phases of the dam between 1902 and 1939, bears Arabic calligraphy saying, “In memory of the attendance of his Majesty King Farouk I to lay the final stone in the second heightening of the Aswan Dam.”

“The Aswan Dam is a modern engineering marvel and this ceremonial model owned by King Farouk I himself commemorates all three distinct stages of the dam’s completion, from 1902-1939,” Nick Dawes, Vice President of Special Collections and curator of the Gentleman Collector, Auction wrote on Heritage Auctions’ website.

The model was sold in Heritage Auctions’ Gentleman Collection Auction in Dallas; a fine and decorative art auction held Sept. 13 and 14.

According to Dawes, the silver model, measuring 25 x 59 cm, is a “true king’s treasure” that was made by silversmith Omar Ramsden (1873–1939), who was one of England’s leading designers and makers of silverware.

Designed by British engineer Sir William Willcocks, the construction of Aswan Dam began in 1899 and was completed in 1902.

“The dam was enlarged twice in 1912 and 1934 with a total height of 48 meters but its reservoir was not good enough to contain enough for agriculture and irrigation purposes specially during extreme flooding,” Modern History Professor at South Valley University’s Faculty of Art Saad Khalifa told The Cairo Post Tuesday.

President Nasser built the High Dam, 4 kilometers south of the Aswan Dam for the purpose of storing larger amounts of water in Lake Nasser; the biggest man-made lake in the world, he added.

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