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Ethiopian drinking horn taken from the camp of the Governor of Samen, Ayto Tesfos by the Scottish explorer James Bruce of Kinnaird after the Second Battle of Sarbakusa, Ethiopia, 1771
Horn, Brass, Silver plate, Textile
Horn with a dark brown patina broken in two parts by an external point of impact. The horn was at one stage damaged and repaired with a combination of bandages and textile wrapped around the area to stabilise it. There are large discoloured old cracks running along the horn and under the old bandage which would explain the need for repair. The level of soling and discolouration of the bandage suggests that the damage and repair are very old and predate the current damage which caused the horn to break. Multiple layers of surface varnish show discolouration and wear. Both ends of the horn are capped with a copper alloy (possibly brass) with loops for attachments. There is an engraved silver plated copper plaque fastened to one end of the horn that reads: 'This horn / was found in storming the / Camp of Aytotesfos / on the banks of the River Martam / in Abissinia / the night of May the 21 1772 / by James Bruce ESQ / of Kinnaird'. The plaque is heavily tarnished revealing its copper base. At the top of the plaque there is a faded representation of a part of Bruce's clan badge, an armoured hand holding a sceptre.
Bruce, James, 1730 - 1794
Ethiopia, Eastern Africa
Battle of Serbraxos
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legacies of empire