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Knife handle

Knife handle

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)

  • Date:

    1680-1720 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved ivory

  • Museum number:

    4712-1859

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This handle of a hunting knife is made by an unknown artist in Germany in ca. 1840-1850.
The ivory handle is carved with a grotesque horned head below which is a medallion with an ram skull in relief. It is distantly reminiscent of the work of Johann Michael Maucher (1645-after 1690), and at the same time recalls Japanese ivories. This mixture of sources, as well as the coarse carving, suggests it is in fact a nineteenth-century fake, probably made in Germany. It was formerly thought to be from about
1680-1720.
Two other ivory handles for hunting swords are in the V&A, one carved with groups of figures terminating in the head of a man wearing a helmet (2236-1855), the other formed of groups of superimposed animals (9039-1863).

Physical description

Carved ivory handle of a hunting knife with a grotesque horned head below which is a medallion with a ram's skull in relief.

Place of Origin

Germany (made)

Date

1680-1720 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Carved ivory

Dimensions

Height: 12.7 cm

Object history note

Acquired from the Museo Collegio Romano, Rome in 1859.

Historical context note

Two other ivory handles for hunting swords are in the V&A, one carved with groups of figures terminating in the head of a man wearing a helmet (2236-1855), the other formed of groups of superimposed animals (9039-1863)

Descriptive line

Handle of a hunting knife, ivory, carved with a grotesque horned head, probably Germany, ca. 1840-1850

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Inventory of Art Objects Acquired in the Year 1859. In: Inventory of the Objects in the Art Division of the Museum at South Kensington, Arranged According to the Dates of their Acquisition. Vol I. London: Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., 1868, p. 32
Longhurst, Margaret H. Catalogue of Carvings in Ivory. Part II. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1929, p. 94
p. 443
Trusted, Marjorie, Baroque & Later Ivories, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013
Trusted, Marjorie, Baroque & Later Ivories, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013, p. 443, cat. no. 481

Materials

Ivory

Techniques

Carving

Subjects depicted

Grotesque; Ram; Head

Categories

Sculpture; Sport; Tools & Equipment

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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