rhinoceros parts

Durer's rhinoceros

Albrecht Durer, 1515

Rhinoceros' Horns are much esteemed among the Mahometans, on account of their being considered a powerful antidote against poison. They are in general about 12 to 15 inches long, and from 8 to 6 inches in diameter, though sometimes (rarely) 10 inches in diameter, and near 24 inches long. A good sized born, sound, and not broken at the point, is worth from three to four pounds sterling. At the base they are commonly of a brown or olive colour, though occasionally grey, and sometimes nearly white : they are nearly straight, having a very small curve, inclining upwards with a sharp point. The horns of the Rhinoceros have not that interior spongy substance contained in those of other animals, but are entirely solid : they are made into drinking-cups and snuff-boxes.

Rhinoceros' Hides are in great demand for making targets or shields; when prepared, they are proof against the stroke of a scimitar; they are of a variegated colour, and when polished, very similar to tortoise-shell. At Surat they make the most elegant targets of these hides, and stud them with silver-headed nails. These will fetch from 30 to 40 rupees each, and are much sought after, particularly in Arabia.

Wiliam Milburn.
Revised by Thomas Thornton.
Oriental Commerce, or the East India Trader's Complete Guide; …
London: Printed for Kingsbury, Parbury, and Allen, 1825.
Page 75.


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