Piece of Tusk Taken Posthumously from Jumbo the Elephant, 1885

Summary

Jumbo was the largest animal in captivity when showman P. T. Barnum purchased it from the London Zoological Society in 1882. The 11-foot, 6-ton African elephant became the latest--and probably the most famous--spectacle in Barnum and Bailey's traveling circus. Jumbo died in a tragic train accident in 1885. Pieces of his tusks were made into souvenirs to commemorate the life of the giant-sized attraction.

Jumbo was the largest animal in captivity when showman P. T. Barnum purchased it from the London Zoological Society in 1882. The 11-foot, 6-ton African elephant became the latest--and probably the most famous--spectacle in Barnum and Bailey's traveling circus. Jumbo died in a tragic train accident in 1885. Pieces of his tusks were made into souvenirs to commemorate the life of the giant-sized attraction.

Artifact

Tusk

Date Made

15 September 1885

Location

Not on exhibit to the public.

Object ID

35.297.12

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Robert E. Sherwood.

Material

Ivory (Tooth component)
Tusk
Ink

Color

Black (Color)

Dimensions

Height: 3.25 in

Width: 6.25 in

Thickness: 1.688 in

Inscriptions

Inscribed in ink on front of tusk piece: Upper portion of tusk of / the immortal Jumbo / King of Elephants. / Born in Central Africa 1861 / Died at St. Thomas Canad Sept. 15th 1885 / Aged 24 Years. Inscribed in ink on verso of tusk piece: The remains of the lamented / jumbo / were removed from / Ward's Natural Science / Establishment. / Rochester, N.Y. Feb. 26-86. / pall bearers A.P. Smith, Reporter / N.Y. Tribune, and others.

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