The arrival point into London for elephant ivory was, together with other high-value cargoes, St Katharine's Dock. From St Katharine's it was transported to Ivory House, and from Ivory House, the ivory was sold onto to both overseas traders and across Britain. Finally, it was formed into billiard balls, piano keys, cutlery handles and other items.
This trade and the underlying hunting of elephants for ivory had a devastating effect on the African elephant population in Africa. From an estimated 26 million in 1800, it has dropped to under one million today. The danger remains - from illegal poaching.
The docklands area was heavily bombed in WWII. Ivory House, however, survived and is now high-end apartments, shops, cafes and restaurants.
Text and curation: Amanda Uren