Engraved Zulu Cow Horn

Original price was: $80,000.00.Current price is: $75,000.00.

Time Period: 19th C.

Origin: South Africa

Materials: Nguni Cattle Horn

Provenance: Germany,  (private collector, Auction House) – NOT subject to the Act on the Protection of Cultural Property Act – KGSG. In addition, NOT subject to CITES regulation (cattle horn), therefore can be legally traded or exported.

Certificates / Declarations: Original German Market Certificate of Authenticity – 19th Century and Customs Declarations according to the Cultural Property Protection Act. In addition, original Canadian import clearance documents and receipts.

Availability: 1 in stock Category: Tags: , , , , ,
  Make an Offer
Compare Compare


Engraved Zulu Cow Horn -19th Century

Advanced research and studies on the images on these engraved horns determined that they were the visual narratives encountered between British soldiers and Zulu regiments. This was mainly part of the Anglo-Zulu War which occurred in 1879. Interestingly enough, a few of these engraved horns ended up in private collections and museums across Europe after being auctioned at The Colonial and Indian Exhibition of 1886 in London England. These were collected as objects of curiosity and rare artwork.

Details of the Horn Engraving
The vignettes portray a visual narrative of Anglo-Zulu wars of 1879 with a remarkable unique and detailed making too. This includes the smooth scraping of the horns surface for an even background. Additionally, the fine lines of the engravings ensure that a very sharp blade or a fine point was the tool used here.Some other detailing on these engraved horns includes: The finely incised lines of engravings blackened with soot and fat mixture (for a detailed image). The engravings present a visual narrative of some particular experiences of the colonial life, seen by the artists eyes. A constant military theme is present throughout including soldiers marching, mounted on horseback, or in a band. Zulu impi in an organized formation.This extremely rare horn is a treasury of beautifully crafted images consisting of unique engravings and extreme detail that portray colonial life by a Zulu native.

A Few Known Engraved Zulu Horn Examples:

– Natal Museum, South Africa – 176, 176A
– British Museum, London, United – Af 1960,08.1,
– Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA – 83-8-1.1
– Iziko Museums of Cape Town South Africa – ISANG 2003/13
– Amafa KwaZulu Cultural Museum Ulundi, South Africa – C
– Glenbow Museum, Calgary Canada – R 360-76
– Hamburg Museum, Germany – 22.29.1


Davison, Patricia. (2016). Visual narratives of the Anglo-Zulu war: Cattle horns engraved by an unknown African artist. 28. 81-101.

Davison, Patricia. (1976). Some Nguni crafts: the uses of horn, bone and ivory. Annals of the South African Museum 70(2): 79-155.

Maggs, T. 1990. A glimpse of colonial life through Zulu eyes: 19th century engraved cattle horns from

Natal. Natal Museum Journal of the Humanities 2: 143-162.

British Museum

Contact Us with your Best Offer

Special thanks to Dr. Patricia Davison for her assistance and academic work on Engraved Cattle Horns, 19th C. SA.


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Engraved Zulu Cow Horn”

No more offers for this product!

General Enquiries

There are no enquiries yet.