A ROYAL AFRICAN IVORY OLIPHANT WITH SILVER MOUNTS
A ROYAL AFRICAN IVORY OLIPHANT WITH SILVER MOUNTS
A ROYAL AFRICAN IVORY OLIPHANT WITH SILVER MOUNTS

A ROYAL AFRICAN IVORY OLIPHANT WITH SILVER MOUNTS

1810 to 1832 Bompeh Kingdom, Sierra Leone

Offered by Peter Petrou

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This important ivory trumpet was used every day to announce that the Chief was in residence.

The earlier lettering on the silver mount reads as follows:

TO
KONG TAM
Jarbarme
FROM
P.C.
Korjor

The inscription on the tusk itself reads as follows:

PAR. CHIEF T.C .B. CAULKER
KONG TAM
BOMPEH CHIEFDOM
1918

The lettering on the silver mount announces that the oliphant was given to Kong Tam by Chief Korjor; Kong Tam was the Sherbro name of Chief Thomas Caulker, ruler of the Bompey Kingdom between 1810 and 1832. The horn was then passed down from chief to chief until it was inherited by Chief Thomas Canreba Caulker (whose name is engraved on the tusk) ruler of the Bompeh Kingdom between 1907 and 1921. Research is ongoing with the help of descendants of the Caulkers of Sierra Leone to decipher the remaining inscription.

The Caulker dynasty in West Africa began in 1684 with the arrival of the fifteen year old Thomas Corker (born Falmouth, England), an employee of the Royal African Company. He quickly became their chief agent on York Island, Sherbro which was a fortified trading post. By tradition he presented himself to the king, Ya Cumba, who offered his daughter in marriage to the young man. Thomas and his wife, known as Senora Doll, had two sons, Stephen and Robin. The eldest, Stephen, inherited his mother's kingdom and used his European contacts to expand trade. His children married prominent Afro-European and European traders and produced new clans. Their name changed to Caulker and they became some of the most important slave traders in the 18th century.

During the 19th century the Caulker Chief joined with other clan leaders to suppress the slave trade and the agreement was finalised with the Governor of the British Colony of Sierra Leone in 1853.
The Caulkers of Sierra Leone by Imodale Caulker-Burnett
Dimensions
Width 73.00 cm (28.74 inches)
Stock Code
1344/2733
Medium
Ivory and Silver
Peter Petrou

Peter Petrou
c/o BADA, 20 Rutland Gate
London
SW7 1BD
England

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