Ivory Hornbook. English, c. 1795.

Gift of S. T. and Margaret D. Harris.

Hornbooks, primers used to teach children to read, were often used during the 1600s and 1700s when textbooks were not available. Ivory hornbooks were more rare than cheaper ones made of wood, bone, or parchment covered by a transparent sheet of horn. This elegant hornbook is engraved with both capital and lower case letters and vowels. The figure of a bird and "A.M. 1795" are engraved on the on the handle.

 

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