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The Clephane Horn

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • The Clephane Horn
  • Description

    Horn or oliphant; ivory; carved with bands of relief decoration running around the hollowed-out elephant tusk; from bell to mouthpiece: plain band, stiff foliage, plain band, contiguous roundels, plain band, frieze of animals and mythical beasts, plain band, contiguous roundels, plain band, beaded band, running acanthus scroll, beaded band, a wide, slightly recessed band (for metal mount), plain band, running acanthus scroll, plain band, recessed band containing in four registers; 1) four quadrigae 2) hunting scene 3) men wrestling 4) performing animals; beaded band, stiff foliage, plain band, wide, slightly recessed, band (for metal mount), plain band, stiff foliage and a plain band.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 11thC (probably)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 575 millimetres
    • Width: 115 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Published: Archaelogia LXV 1913-14 pp.213-222.

  • Bibliography

    • Buckton 1994 158 bibliographic details
    • Shalem & Glaser 2014 B17 bibliographic details
    • Robinson 2008 p.290 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G40/dc7

  • Condition

    Four longitudinal splits; a large fragment missing from rim and another from inside of curve.

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Sir Walter Scott implied that the horn had been used for sounding the alarm from the battlements of Carslogie Castle, a seat of the Clephane family near Cupar, in Fife; according to tradition it had been in the castle since the Middle Ages. The horn has been on loan to the BM since 1914, accepted by H M Treasury in lieu of Capital Transfer Tax payable on the death of the 6th Marquess on 30.1.1978.

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


COMPASS Title: The Clephane horn


COMPASS Title: The Clephane horn

Image description



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Object reference number: MCB2512

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