The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Drinking horn
  • Drinking horn
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • North Europe, possibly England
  • c. 1400
  • Bull's horn, gold and copper, incised
  • Weight: 1.27 kg
  • A1332
  • European Armoury I
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Horn, of a bull, polished and mounted with a rim and band of gilt copper, the edges cut into leaves, the surface incised with twenty-five triangular shields of arms hitherto unidentified.

    On the band: (I) checky, (ii) a chief unduly and a fesse, (iii) paly, (iv) a saltire, (v) a chevron, (vi) five rondels between two bars, three and two, (vii) barry, (viii) three rondels, (ix) bendy, (x) gyronny on the rim: (xi) a bend, (xii) a lion rampant charged with a bendlet, (xiii) a cross moline debruised by a canton, (xiv) billety, a ion stantant (?) crowned, (xv) per pale, a cross moline, (xvi) two lions passant, (xvii) a bend, (xviii) quarterly, four rondels each charged with a cross, (xix) billety a lion or dog rampant, (xx) a cross moline charged with a bendlet, (xxi) a cross moline, (xxii) a fesse, (xxiii) barry of six, in chief three roses, (xxiv) a cross moline debruised by a canton (again), (xxv) per pale, a bend. The band is a later replacement, possibly of the 19th century. From the point of view of identification, therefore, the shields of arms with which it is decorated must be ignored.

    The tinctures are in places indicated by hatching. This horn is not pierced for a mouth-piece because it was a drinking horn, not a hunting horn. There are traces of another band having been fitted, to which the legs would have been fixed. (The 1962 catalogue states the following: Both rim and band carry a ring for suspension; the mouthpiece (now missing) was, although pierced transversely, only partly pierced at the tip so that it was impossible for the horn to have been blown, and it would appear to have been more in the nature of a relic, possibly with a special territorial significance).

    North European, possibly English, about 1400.

    Possibly a receipted bill of E. Lemer of 11 December, 1865, ‘Une corne, 80 fr.’ (Comte de Nieuwerkerke), but this might also be A1334 or, less likely, A1331, since the unusual nature of this last would probably have been specified.

    Dr. and Mrs. E. A. Gee have recently suggested very tentatively, in view of the absence of tinctures, that the arms on the rim could be identified as follows: (XI) Mauley (or a bend sable); (XII) either Sutton of Holderness (Az. a lion rampant or debruised of a bend or gobony arg. and gu.); or Tochetts of Tochetts (Arg. a lion rampant or debruised of a bendlet gu.); (XIII) Copley of Doncaster (Arg. a cross moline sa. and a canton gu.); (XV) Bigod (Party per pale vert and or, a cross moline gu.); (XVI) Paynell (Or 2 lions pasant az.); (XVII) Scrope of Danby (Az. a bend or); (XIX) Bulmer (Arg. billety gu., a rampant gu.); (XX) possibly a cadet of No. XIX; (XXI) Sampson (Or a cross moline sa.); or Colville (Arg. a cross moline gu.), or Copley of Sprotborough (Arg. a cross moline sa.), or Godard (Erm. a cross moline sa.); (XXII) Tweng of Mickleby (Arg. a fess gu.), or Campaigne (Arg. a fess sa.); (XXIII) Constable of Burton Contable bore barry of six or & az., it could therefore represent a cadet branch, or it could be a much differenced Meinell coat (Az. 3, sometimes 2, bars gemell and a chief or); (XXIV) see XIII, or a cadet of XXI; (XXV) Well of Well (Per pale gu. & sa., a bend arg.). All these families were related by marriage to the Mauleys (no. XI), or lived on their fees or, at least, were their close neighbours at the very end of the XIV century. The horn could therefore have belonged to Peter VIII de Mauley (1378 - 1415). A1332 formed part of the collection of the Comte de Nieuwerkerke, and can be identified in the painting by Tetat van Elven of one of his rooms, inscribed 1866, now in the Museum of Compiene (no. C51-004; Savill, 1980, and see note under A65).