Javascript must be enabled to view this site.

Read our system requirements.

Oliphant (Side-Blown Trumpet)
1 of 1

Oliphant (Side-Blown Trumpet), result 1 of 1

Item Details
Open Artstor
Available to everyone
Central Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (most likely), Cabinda, or Republic of the Congo, probably Yombe people, late 19th-early 20th century
Oliphant (Side-Blown Trumpet)
Work Type
late 1800s-early 1900s
Overall: 32 x 4 x 6 cm (12 5/8 x 1 9/16 x 2 3/8 in.)
The elephant tusk used to make this trumpet was either shaved down or originated from a younger animal. The instrument is held horizontally when blown, as its mouthpiece is located in the tusk's inner curve. Trumpets were used as musical instruments on various occasions, and ivory examples seem to have been reserved for more solemn circumstances, such as funerals. However, short trumpets decorated with human figuration may have been made for export to Europe. Whether this assertion applies to the present object cannot be confirmed, though its honey-colored patina testifies to long-term handling. The seated male wearing a shell necklace and a European cloak and hat probably depicts a Yombe ruler.
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Collection: African Art
Department: African Art
Provenance: René De Wolf (collector/dealer), Tshela, D.R.C./Brussels, before 1972; René and Odette Delenne, Brussels, 1972 to 2010. (The Delennes purchased this object and several others from Mr. De Wolf when he was visiting in Belgium, while living in the Congo, in
René and Odette Delenne Collection, Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund
Accession Number
Image and original data from The Cleveland Museum of Art
Use of this image is in accordance with the applicable Terms & Conditions
File Properties
File Name

Now viewing Oliphant (Side-Blown Trumpet)