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Horn is made of keratin, which is the same stuff that your finger and toes nails are made of. This does not survive well in the archaeological record as it rots very quickly. As such it could be argued that the number of horn finds are not entirely representative of the volume in actual use.

Horn becomes pliable when heated in oil and can be shaped over formers. Subsequently dishes and bowls can be formed, however, the technology to keep the horn within the required temperature range to do this without damaging it is modern.

Logo.gif Unacceptable items made from horn

Horn spoons

Small horn eating size spoons are similarly questionable on authenticity grounds, but they are permitted on the basis that many people have difficulty eating with a wooden spoon.

One of the York Mystery Plays (from the later medieval period) includes the shepherds bringing the infant Jesus:

  • "this spoon of horn I thee do give / and it will hold good forty peas".

Horn bowls

There is no evidence of bowls made from horn, so the use of large formed bowls, dishes and large spoons etc is to be discouraged.

  • All horn bowls have been banned from 2016 onwards.

Horn tankards

Horns are also commercially available made into cups or tankards with side handles. Unfortunately these are re-enactorisms - you should use pottery or wooden cups instead.

  • Horn tankards are not authentic and therefore not permitted.

Pages in category ‘Horn’

The following 3 pages are in this category, out of 3 total.