Thomas´s Metalwork Trail, Millennium Gallery, Sheffield
Elephants in Sheffield?
Did you know?
Elephant tusk (known as ivory) was once very fashionable. It was used for ornaments, jewellery and many other objects. It was sometimes carved into ornate designs and sometimes used, for it's creamy white colour to decorate wooden objects.
The elephant on the badge symbolises the ivory trade. Companies in Sheffield used lots of ivory to make handles for their cutlery. It also implied that the goods being produced in Sheffield were of the highest quality.
Though trading in ivory is now banned the elephant on the coat of arms reminds us how important it once was to the industry.
Have you heard the expression To tinkle the ivories? This means to play the piano, because white piano keys were once made from ivory.