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the small chip at the base of the spout can be seen here.


Old Rhinoceros Horn Snuff Bottle

Tribe Dynasty

Possibly Barotse or one of the other northern Nguni tribes


Southern Africa


1850 or earlier


9 cms (3½ ins) Height


Rhinoceros horn


It has a small chip at the base of the screw-in spout but is otherwise in good condition.

This beautifully carved snuff bottle comes in three parts; the bulbous container, the screw-in spout and the cap to cover the spout. From its deep patina and signs of use, it is clearly a very old thing, dating to at least first half of the 19th century.

It was the prerogative of chiefs to use snuff bottles made from rare materials such as ivory and rhino horn. As well as showing the skill of the hunter in felling such a dangerous and powerful animal, the attributes associated with the animal became associated with the man who carried and used items.

Again we have here a piece not easy to attribute specifically but would appear to be the work of one of the Nguni or other tribes of eastern and southern Africa. Barotse perhaps?


Price on request

Reference No


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