Unicorn horns, anonymous, c. 1000 - c. 1099
For centuries, these three objects appeared on Catholic feast days on the high altar of the Mariakerk, Utrecht. Candlesticks were placed on their pointed ends. People believed the horns were those of a unicorn, a mythical creature then regarded as a symbol of the Virgin’s chastity. They are, in actual fact, the teeth of a narwhal, a type of whale.