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Casket of carved whalebone

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from Fife

Casket of carved whalebone
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This whalebone casket was made in the West Highlands in the 15th or early 16th century. It is said to come from Fife.

The casket is formed of six plates of bone secured together by metal mountings and has metal straps strengthening all four sides. The front has a lock and the bone plates are carved in individual panels with interlace patterns.

It is thought that such caskets may have once been common in the West Highlands. Similar caskets can be seen on grave slabs at Iona and Mull.

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