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A narwhal tusk is not a cheap weapon. One sold in auction for £36,000 a few years ago. Elizabeth I so valued the one presented to her by privateer Martin Frobisher that she placed it in the Royal Wardrobe & Treasury. It was valued at £10,000 in 1598 -- some £2 million today.
The heroic chef 'Luckasz' who used the narwhal tusk yesterday was not the first to wield such a tusk as a weapon. In Greenland, narwhal tusks had wooden handles attached to them to make a weapon called a 'nuguit'. See this extract from The Book of the Sword by Richard Burton:
You REALLY don't want to pick a fight with a man wielding a narwhal tusk. Here's an illustration from the Journal of the Royal United Service Institution showing how a tusk had pierced through 2½ inches of the oak hull of a ship in the South Seas.
The Greenlanders did not use their narwhal tusk weapons – 'nuguits' – against each other, but to hunt birds. It must have required a huge amount of skill. This is from David Cranz's History of Greenland, first published in 1767:
"If the unsharpened horn can go through a plank..."
I can only agree with the speculation of the Victorian art critic Marion Spielmann in the Magazine of Art in 1884 what effect a nuguit might have if used against a person...
To wrap up, what happened to narwhal tusk owned by Elizabeth I? It was known as the 'Horn of Windsor' – a term perhaps more fitting for some current members of that House – and it appears to have been kept in the Tower of London.
In his History of the Worthies of England (1662) Thomas Fuller observed that the narwhal tusk was 'antidotal to several venoms' although he wasn't convinced. Sadly, the tusk was lost during the Civil War, with a suggestion that the Puritans didn't like its association with magic.
So to sum up, these tusks are special. They can pierce through inches of oak, they were used to hunt birds, and they're expensive, costing about 20 times more than the guns used by the Police yesterday. In short, they really are magic – and definitely antidotal to terrorists.
Absolutely delighted to see this narwhal thread has disseminated to these excellent publications!
@washingtonpost washingtonpost.com/world/2019/11/…
@TheSun thesun.co.uk/news/10455973/…
@euronews euronews.com/2019/11/30/eye…
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