Ivory Fork

A fork, carved from a single piece of ivory. The top of the fork depicts a crocodile, and a four-legged animal biting a snake, in high relief. The central section is carved with double loops, and one can see the snake twisted through the loop, with its head poking out the top. This is likely to be a Sapi-Portuguese item; a term coined by the Portuguese in the 15th century to refer to items patronised for the European market. Such items often display a mixture of African and European elements and motifs in their overall form.

Further Information

  • Type: Ivories
  • Object: Ivory Fork
  • Materials: Bone, ivory, tooth
  • Culture Group: Bullom, Temne
  • Dimensions: 243mm x 22mm x 18mm [L][W][C]
  • Production Date: 1490-1530
  • Associated Places: Unknown
  • Associated People: Augustus Wollaston Franks
  • Museum: British Museum
  • Accession Number: BM:Af.7845

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