Credit: © The Royal Society
    Image number: RS.10127
    Looking for a special gift? Buy a print of this image.

    ‘Figure du Camphur’

    Object type
    Library reference
    height (print): 230mm
    width (print): 162mm
    Figure of the Camphur, a mythological beast resembling the unicorn, with a single horn and mane. The creature is amphibious, with hoofed front legs and webbed rear ones. Set in a landscape that includes a castle on a hill and a pair of human figures, The camphur is shown with fish on the ground around it, presumably to indicate its supposed diet.

    In discussing unicorns, the author states in accompanying text that: “Andre Theuet en sa Comsographie, dit qu'il s'en trouve une autre en Aethiopie, presque semblable, nominee Camphur, en l'isle de Moluque, qui est amphibie (c'est a dire) viuant en l’eau & en la terre, comme le crocodile...” (Andre Theuet in his Cosmographie, says he finds another in Ethiopia, almost similar, named Camphur in the isle of Moluque, which is amphibious (that is to say) goes in water and on the earth, like the crocodile).

    Illustration from Discours d'Ambroise Pare ... a scavoir, de la mumie, de la licorne, des venins, et de la peste, avec une table des plus notables matieres contenues esdit discours (Gabriel Buon, Paris, 1582), f.20.

    Ambroise Paré (c.1510-1590) was a French barber-surgeon and anatomist who served several Kings of France.
    Associated place
    <The World>
       > Europe
          > France
    Powered by CollectionsIndex+/CollectionsOnline