AN extremely rare rhinoceros horn will go under the hammer at Cirencester auctioneers Moore Allen & Innocent later this year, with a guide price of between £10,000 and £15,000.

Only a handful of rhino horns come onto the market each year, and the one being sold at Moore Allen is considered to be a particularly good example.

Rhinos are protected species, and auctioneers can only sell horns if they were killed before 1947 and have been 'crafted' - mounted or carved into an ornament.

This particular rhino horn has been in a Cotswold family for three generations, along with three of its feet.

The vendor's grandfather was a British official stationed in Bukoba, Tanganyika - now Tanzania - after Germany lost control of the region following the First World War.

In 1925 a rogue rhino was causing havoc in the area, and a guest of the official was dispatched to shoot the beast.

The hunter kept one of the feet as a souvenir and the remaining feet and horn - which was inscribed with the date on which it was shot: 12.10.25 - was kept by the official.

Two of those feet, which were hollowed out and mounted with solid silver lids with hallmarks dated 1925 and 1928, will be sold at the Sporting Sale on Friday, August 28, with an estimate of £300 to £500 each, along with the horn, which is expected to achieve between £10,000 and £15,000.

African rhinos have two horns, unlike their Indian cousins, which have only one. The front horn from this specimen measures a whopping one-and-three-quarter feet long. The second horn is a foot long.