An Antique Narwhal Tusk – Monodon Monoceros
Early 19th Century
Size: 109 cm long – 43 ins long
C.I.T.I.E.S documentation available
For centuries people believed the unicorn existed and even today this solitary animal, that cannot be captured by force, but only by the lure of a virgin, still inhabits the distant edges of our mental geography. From the east the story of the unicorn spread to the west where it was first described in the 4th century BC by Ctesias … 'There are in India certain wild asses which are as large as horses and even larger. Their bodies are white, their heads dark red, and their eyes dark blue. They have a horn in the middle of the forehead that is about a foot and a half in length ….. the base of this horn, for some two hands-breadth above the brow is pure white, the upper part is sharp and of a vivid crimson; and the remainder is black. Those who drink from these horns, made into drinking vessels are not subject, they say, to convulsions or to the falling sickness. Indeed they are immune even to poisons ….. The animal is exceedingly swift and powerful, so that no creature, neither the horse or any other, can overtake it'.