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Circus elephant’s tooth

Made 1941

This tooth, taken from the corpse of the Asiatic elephant Princess Alice after she died at Wirths’ Circus headquarters in Melbourne, is a reminder of the attachment felt by members of the Wirth family to their long-serving circus animals.

The inscription on the plaque attached to the tooth states that Princess Alice died in 1941. A great deal of mythology surrounds her origins. The Wirths liked to publicise her as the oldest elephant in captivity. She was reported to have been born in 1787 but...

Summary

Object No.

2012/104/58

Object Statement

Elephant's tooth with label, made by Princess Alice, used by the Wirths' Circus family, Australia, 1941

Physical Description

Tooth of the elephant 'Princess Alice'. Small metal plaque attached with the text 'To Miss Doris from Charlie. In memory of Princess Alice Who died Melbourne Nov 24th 1941. Aged 159 Years'.

Dimensions

Height

180 mm

Width

120 mm

Depth

135 mm

History

Notes

Presented to 'Miss Doris' Wirth, manager of Wirths' Circus, by Charlie West after the death of the elephant Princess Alice in 1941. Held by the Wirths' Circus family at their Coogee mansion. Kept by Marizles ('Rill') Wirth, the youngest child of Philip Wirth, until her death in 2007. Donated to the Powerhouse Museum by her nieces Margaret and Georgina Wirth.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of the Wirth family, 2012

Acquisition Date

3 September 2012

Cite this Object

Harvard

Circus elephant's tooth 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 22 February 2019, <https://ma.as/444450>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/444450 |title=Circus elephant's tooth |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=22 February 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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