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jewelry glossary

Antique jewelry glossary

Welcome to our extensive antique jewelry glossary with around 1,500 jewelry related entries.If you feel you are missing an explanation, feel free to let us know and we will add it.

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Unicorn horn

The tusk of the Arctic male narwhal whale, being long, pointed, and having a twisted appearance, resembling the horn of the fabled unicorn. Hence it was considered in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to be a 'unicorn horn', and it, or objects made from it, had alleged magical powers or great mystical significance. The most renowned example is the Ainkhürn, the complete tusk (length, 2,34 m) that has been treasured since 1564 as an inalienable heirloom of the Habsburgs and is now in the Schatzkammer in Vienna.

From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson

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