Imported from North Africa and Egypt, ivory was a very rare commodity and was reserved for the nobility and the very wealthy. This rare example was known as a "cochlear", with small circular bowl and long pointed handle, the latter had the practical purpose of extracting meat from bones and was used primarily for eating snails, shellfish, and eggs.
Dimensions: Length: 4 inches (10 cm)
Condition: Small loss to tip otherwise intact and in excellent condition overall, with museum quality custom mount (pictured).
Provenance: Forming part of the James Stephan Snr. collection, and then by descent. Dr. Stephan was a US intelligence officer who also held a degree in archaeology. He was posted in the Anatolian region of Turkey in the late 1960's with the US government and during this time acquired his collection from dealers and villagers throughout the region.