Tusk Table

A historical image of a hallway. In the forefront there is a table with curved elephant tusks. On the wall are decorated with patterned shields.
The Back Hall of Eldon House taken by Milly Harris, 1900.
A closet with an oval top. At the bottom there are two curved elephant tusks sitting on a bedsheet.
Tusk table in storage

Country of Origin: likely Angola  
Year: ca. 1900 
Materials: Metal and ivory   

Ronald Harris purchased many furniture items produced by British and American companies in Africa. This tusk table was one of the larger pieces brought home after his work trips in the early 1900s. This table has a round metal top that was supported by four large elephant tusks. For many years this item was in the Back Hall,  though when the house became a Museum, it was taken off display due to conservation concerns. The metal tabletop is far too heavy for the ivory legs, and museum staff have often wondered how it stood in the first place! Now it remains in storage, with some of the tusks on display in the other parts of the Museum.