Fine Antique Specimen of an Arctic Narwhal Tusk ‘Monodon Monoceros’

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Object Description

A Fine Antique Specimen of an Arctic Narwhal Tusk ‘Monodon Monoceros’
19th Century

Size: 195cm long – 76¾ ins long / 209.5cm high – 82½ ins high (with base)

Object History

Ex Private London collection
Acquired end of 2nd World War / late 1940’s
Thence by descent

Article 10 certificate no. 599665/01

Object Literature

Sometimes known as the ‘sea unicorn’ the narwhal is one of the most curious and interesting of all the toothed whales. Inhabitants of the Arctic Seas they are often found in the company of Belugas. They are a mottled pale white colour, but their young are dark, sometimes almost shiny black. Measuring from twelve to sixteen feet long, the male has a long spiral upper tooth that juts forward eight or nine feet from the left side of his upper jaw. Occasionally a rare individual man have two. Looking like the lance of one of King Arthur’s knights, the tusk was historically thought to have many wonderful qualities, including the ability to counteract the effects of many poisons.
The Greenland Eskimos still hunt narwhals in the traditional way with kayaks and harpoons as they are a vital source of fresh food. However, the Canadians now use guns and small powerboats. The Canadian government allows each hunter to take three narwhals annually, around one thousand a year, out of a population of approximately ten thousand.

Object Details

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