This magnificent hunting horn belonged to the Wardens of Savernake Forest, Wiltshire. Made in Italy, of elephant ivory, it has two silver and enamelled bands at the bell of the horn, added in England in the 14th century. The top band is divided into 16 compartments, 12 of which depict hunting dogs and animals of the chase. The remaining four compartments contain engraved figures of a king and a bishop, each with a hand raised, together with a forester blowing a horn, and a seated lion. Beneath is a second band, engraved with more forest animals. The king and bishop are unidentified, but the decoration of these bands suggests a date of manufacture between 1325 and 1350, perhaps in London. Magna Carta originally contained a number of clauses (44, 47–48 and 53) relating to forest law, but these were removed to the separate Forest Charter when the new version of Magna Carta was issued in 1217.
- Article by:
- Claire Breay, Julian Harrison
- Clauses and content, Medieval origins
From the medieval Church to money-lending, feudal rights to the royal forest, discover how Magna Carta was both influenced by, and impacted upon, the institutions and customs of its day.