An impressive and complete antique narwhal tusk
An impressive and complete antique narwhal tusk

An impressive and complete antique narwhal tusk

1700 to 1900 European

Offered by Finch & Co


To browse more Antique Collectibles click here

To see more from this dealer click here

An impressive and complete antique narwhal tusk
Late 18th/Early 19th CENTURY

Size: 223cm high (7feet 81/2 inches), 8cm dia, with stand 33cm high
Sold with CITIES certificate
Cabinets of Curiosities were noted for their outstanding collections of
natural objects. It was said by the 17th Century Philosopher Emmanuelle
Tesauro that everything was a metaphor 'and if nature speaks to us
through these metaphors it follows that an encyclopaedic collection, as
the sum of all possible metaphors, must logically become the all
encompassing metaphor for the world'. Regarded as the wondrous horn of
the mythical unicorn, and possessed of magical powers, Narwhal tusks
were 'de riguer' for Wunderkammer. In the Royal Danish Kunstkammer
there existed 'a head of a unicorn' caught off Greenland in 1706 and
presented to Frederick IV, but this was sold at auction in 1824.
The Narwhal lives in the icy waters of the Arctic and is a close
relative of the beluga or white whale. Only the males have tusks and it
is still not known what this overgrown tooth is for, except that they
do fight and have been seen crossing their tusks with other males above
the ice. The male Narwhal grows up to 4.6m long and can weigh up to 1.6
tonnes. Migrating with the seasons they follow the ice North in the
summer and South in the winter.
It is interesting to note that the older the tusk the more deeply the
spiral twists are channelled into the ivory. This example has excellent
patination and a good deep spiral twist to the tusk. It was found
standing in an 18th Century white marble and wrought iron quayside
torchlight holder.

Height 223.00 cm (87.80 inches)
Narwhal Tusk and Marble/Wrought Iron base
Finch & Co

Finch & Co
Suite No 744
2 Old Brompton Road

Contact Details
+44 (0) 207 689 7500
+44 (0)7836 684133
+44 (0)7768 236921
Email Dealer More Contact Details
Opening Hours
Member Since 2006
Members of
View Full Details