Striking Pair of Carved and Painted Unicorn Heads
finely carved with flowing manes in the manner of Serge Roche retaining the original painted surface and mounted with Narwhal tusks as horns.
In past Centuries ‘Unicorn horns’ were believed to have medicinal and, indeed, magical qualities. As the unicorn is a mythical beast the apothecary had to find a substitute ingredient. Usually this was the long tusk of a male narwhal, often sold to collectors for their cabinets of curiosities as unicorn horns, which were also ground into a powder by apothecaries to be used in treatments. Unicorns were also a medieval symbol of purity and chastity.
Similar sculptures of unicorns, also incorporating narwhal tusks are in the collection of the German Pharmacy Museum and the Science Museum, London
The unicorn is also a crest of the Stuart/Stewart family and a supporter in the Royal arms