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Master of the Arms of Castile and Aragon

Artist's cultural association:
Sierra Leone
The Drumond Castle Oliphant c.1500 AD
Collection Title: The "Drumond Castle Oliphant", Afro-Portuguese Ivory Hunting Horn
Place made: Sierra Leone
Creation Notes: c.1500 for the oliphant; c.1780 (in England) for the buckles on the belt probably commissioned for the marriage of Manual I, King of Portugal, to Maria of Aragon
Materials & Technique: sculptures, ceremonial objects, ivory, leather, silver carving, leather working, metalwork

Primary Insc: ink on paper sticker inside the mouthpiece: "Philip II of Spain married / Mary daughter of the King of Portugal... She died / in ... This horn with the / arms of Spain and Portugal / ... / ... / this country ... Philip came over. The sticker is very old and hardly legible.
Dimensions: 71.0 h x 10.5 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1978
Accession No: NGA 79.2148.A-B
Subject: African art
  • commissioned, according to tradition, by Ferdinand II (1452–1516), King of Aragon, Sicily and Naples, and Isabella (1451–1504), Queen of Castile and León, for the marriage of their daughter Maria, to Manuel I (1469–1521), King of Portugal, in 1500;
  • by descent to their grandson Charles V (1500–1566), King Charles I of Spain;
  • by descent to his son Philip II (1527–1598), King of Spain, who married Mary Tudor (1516–1558), Queen of England, and probably brought the Oliphant to England as a gift in the period 1554–59;
  • with Mr George Ashby of Naseby, Northamptonshire, England;
  • by bequest to Earl Spencer, Drumond Castle, in 1802;
  • collection of Baron Frederic Rolin, New York, until 1978;
  • from whom bought by the Australian National Gallery, November 1978