This small inkwell is made from animal horn, possibly from a ram. It is believed the inkwell belonged to the Reverend Barnabas Shaw (1788-1857), first official Wesleyan missionary in Africa.
In 1816, Barnabas Shaw and his wife established the first Methodist mission station at Leliefontein, Namaqualand. Shaw was instrumental in establishing Methodist Societies in and around Cape Town, South Africa. Later, his initiative helped Methodism expand all along the eastern Cape coastline.
See also Barnabas Shaw's horn pipe in the Online Collection.