By the time this war trumpet was made, slaving in Africa was an industry matched only by the ivory trade. Yoweri Museveni, president of Uganda stated in 1998 “African chiefs were the ones waging war on each other and capturing their own people and selling them”. Tribal warfare had evolved, and its sole purpose was the capture of slaves for the market. As in Europe, signaling on the battle field coordinated and directed the attack. The ivory war trumpet oliphant, was the means of signaling. This example is 14 ½” in length, finely and painstakingly carved from ivory with open finial, modeled as a kneeling man, which provided a two note tone. The mouth piece (embouchure) is carved with two masks of distinctive Pende (Congo) style. Typically, a few lineal checks or cracks have occurred due to age shrinkage. The rich glossy chocolate patina is as found on the finest museum examples of these iconic instruments. Virtually among the rarest of surviving accoutrements of the slave trade. A superb example of African Art.
Items containing ivory cannot be shipped outside of the U.S.