A Fine Pair of Silver Mounted Wild Boar Tusks, Ceylon, Sri Lanka c.1886


Origin: Sri Lankan
Period: Late Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1886
Width: 5 inches
Depth: 4 inches

The late nineteenth century wild boar (Sus scrofa cristatus) tusks hunted in Ceylon in 1886 and later mounted in the Edwardian period in silver and hallmarked for Horton & Allday, Birmingham in the year 1910.

The inscription to the mount reads BOAR TUSHES CEYLON 1886 H.D.D. TO E.J. XMAS 1910. Clearly presented as a Christmas gift from one person to another these tusks would have been removed from a boar in British Ceylon, the colonial rule of the island nation of Sri Lanka from 1815 to 1948, by the British Empire and were clearly kept by the former owner for the best part of twenty five years before being given as a festive gift, probably to a dear friend (or likely military colleague) rather than a family member.

The tusks have very old splits and one area of loss but remain in solid sound condition with the inscription and hallmarks remaining clear.

Horton & Allday were established in the 1860's by Alfred George Horton and Harry Allday. Alfred Horton died in 1886 and the business was then carried on by Harry Allday alone. Their manufacturing base was at the Warstone Lane factory until 1931 when they moved to 58, Northampton Street, Birmingham. They also had London offices at 6, Arundell Street, Coventry Street, Leicester Square in 1893 and at 47, Poland Street, Soho in 1913.

These tusks prove to be both a nice memento of British colonial rule and the friendship between two military colleagues, and of natural history curiosity.