THE COLLECTION
The Horn of St Hubert
  • Horn
  • The Horn of St Hubert
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Southern Netherlands or France
  • Date: second half of the 15th century
  • Medium: Cow horn, painted and gilded gesso or ambergris, enamel, silver and gold
  • Height: 32 cm
  • Length: 37 cm
  • Inv: W31
  • Location: Sixteenth Century Gallery
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Description
Provenance
Further Reading
  • Horns were used to signal at the chase and in battle and could be richly decorated if they had religious associations or were owned by a wealthy individual. This horn was regarded as an important relic of Saint Hubert (c. 656–727) and was once embellished with painted decoration, silver and gold. It was reputedly being used by the saint while hunting, when he experienced a vision of a stag with a crucifix between its antlers.

    In 1468 the relic was given by the Bishop of Liège to Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy (1433– 1477). It had been preserved at Liège among the relics of Saint Hubert who had been the bishop of that town. A chapel dedicated to Saint Hubert was built to house the horn at Chauvirey-le-Châtel (Haute Saône), in France. In 1869 the horn, together with the chapel and castle of Chauvirey, passed to the comte de Scey who sold the horn to Sir Richard Wallace ten years later.