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OLIPHANT, Olifant (Ger. H elf ant), the large' signal horn of the middle ages, made, as its name indicates, from the tusk of an elephant. The oliphant was the instrument of knights and men of high degree, and was usually ornamented with scenes of hunting or war carved either lengthways or round the horn in sections divided by bands of gold and studded with gems. The knights used their oliphants in the hunting field and in battle, and the loss of this precious horn was considered as shameful as the loss of sword or banner.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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