2 The Fossilized Tip of a Unicorn’s horn

2 • The Fossilized Tip of a Unicorn’s horn

Probably Morocco, 350 million years ago
Size of stone panel: 52 x 32 cm,
Ormolu frame

It is curious how the unicorn-deniers inevitably attribute the horns from different eras to sea-creatures: usually the narwhal, or in this case a sea-shell. In search of more information, I consulted the expert on extinct species, Errol Fuller, who replied thus: ‘It looks to me (I can’t be entirely sure from the photo – so I’d need to see it) like a slice from a fossil Othoceras – a very ancient creature that lived (off the top of my head) about 350 million years ago. These fossils are sometimes found in Morocco.’ Of course Errol is probably right, but I prefer to think there were unicorns in Morocco long before Homo sapiens was around, and unaffected by whether we were going to believe in them, or not.

Provenance: Jean-Claude Ciancimino, London