Author Topic: "Indian" powderhorn ???  (Read 11036 times)

Offline vtbuck223

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"Indian" powderhorn ???
« on: June 10, 2011, 09:05:18 PM »
Okay...I am wary of all things advertised "Indian". I bought this powderhorn quite a few years back off ebay. It came from Iowa and was advertised as an "Indian" or "Native American" powderhorn from an estate sale...out of a collection of Native American artifacts. I liked the look of the horn....definately has some age to it....nice color...etc.  It was worth what I paid for it....no matter what. The red paint seems to be naturally worn away from where a hand would come into contact....gold flecks showing through....etc....looks to me like natural wear. Does anybody know anything about these or have any thoughts on it??? Also...it arrived about half full of powder. The stopper is stuck fast and obviously hasn't been removed in years. I can shake some of the powder out through a small gap in the back. It doesn't look like the powder I am used to shooting...which is very uniform....this is almost like irregular "shards". I am sure  that I could load it into my kentucky rifle and fire away....even after all these years.  Is there anyway to date powder? Thanks...Jeremy





« Last Edit: May 13, 2020, 05:54:04 PM by rich pierce »

Offline rich pierce

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Re: "Indian" powderhorn ???
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2011, 09:19:12 PM »
Have not seen anything like it but I'd a bought it in a second.
Andover, Vermont

Offline T.C.Albert

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Re: "Indian" powderhorn ???
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2011, 09:46:10 PM »
It does look like a commercially made basic horn...could have easily been a trade inventory item aquired by natives...just my guess.
TCA
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Offline Collector

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Re: "Indian" powderhorn ???
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2011, 12:47:20 AM »
Neat looking horn and I would've  snapped it up myself, in a heart beat.  Nice find... ;D

Q.  Are those screws that retain the butt plug, instead of pins?  In the photos, they look like screws?  Brass or steel?

Offline vtbuck223

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Re: "Indian" powderhorn ???
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2011, 03:30:41 AM »
The plug is held by iron pins. Here are a few more pics. Jeremy


« Last Edit: May 13, 2020, 05:54:50 PM by rich pierce »

Trkdriver99

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Re: "Indian" powderhorn ???
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2011, 04:37:55 AM »
I am like the rest of them. I would have bought it. ;D

Ronnie

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: "Indian" powderhorn ???
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2011, 07:34:57 AM »
Great horn, and the Red paint makes it special! Just guessing here, but the spout looks like that found on Lancaster factory horns; the butt plug is not the same , while the carry staples are of the Lancaster type. With the loose fitting plug, it is likely that while very old, this one is a replacement done at some time in the past. The horn is much more finely made than the plug, for example. If a Lancaster horn it would date to the 1840s, most likely. Could have come west with a Leman rifle.
Dick

Offline hanshi

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Re: "Indian" powderhorn ???
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2011, 07:51:07 PM »
I, too, would have picked that one up.
!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
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Re: "Indian" powderhorn ???
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2011, 03:41:33 AM »
Anything I could tell you would be no more than just a guess, as that style of horn was a common type in many area trading posts, village sporting goods stores and even early Sears and Roebuck Catalogs right through the 1920's!  If the powder in it IS real black powder, it probably will  no more than fizzle due to all the exposure to air and moisture over the years.  That said, I don't know if it is black powder or some kid or unknowing person filled it with some type of smokeless powder. in which another serious danger could arise!  The old black powders were not as uniform in grain size and shape as our new stuff, so that possibly might help to determine a ball park age of your find.

JMHO

Rick

Offline JCKelly

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Re: "Indian" powderhorn ???
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2011, 12:33:24 PM »
Just a comment on manufacture . . . the way the spouts were turned in the old days (including in my basement a few decades back), was to drill the hole, then screw in a tap. The tap is what is held in the lathe while the horn spout is being turned. If you ever get that stopper out you will see the remaining shallow "screw threads". Yes, it does look like Lancaster. They made a lot of stuff for Indians in that county.

Online Fullstock longrifle

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Re: "Indian" powderhorn ???
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2011, 02:04:18 PM »
I agree with Dick, it appears that this is a Lancaster made horn that's lost it's original plug somewhere along the line and had a replacement put in.  The red paint is interesting and might tie in with rifles from the Reading area that have been found painted red.  There is a picture of a red painted Bonawitz rifle shown in the discussion thread called "Blue Painted Trade Guns" in the antique gun collecting section.

FK
« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 02:06:23 PM by Fullstock longrifle »

Offline Robert Wolfe

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Re: "Indian" powderhorn ???
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2011, 03:28:21 PM »
Well, if it has lost it's original plug then the paint is suspect because the plug has paint on it. But, if the plug is original.....
Robert Wolfe
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Online Fullstock longrifle

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Re: "Indian" powderhorn ???
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2011, 07:45:55 PM »
Not really, the paint could have been put on after the plug was changed.  1840's or 50's wouldn't surprise me. 

FK

Offline art riser

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Re: "Indian" powderhorn ???
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2011, 11:59:04 PM »
lots of unusual things got painted over the years by persons unknown...

Offline James Rogers

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Re: "Indian" powderhorn ???
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2011, 01:47:37 AM »
lots of unusual things got painted over the years by persons unknown...

Oh how true and even well thru the last century.

Offline bigbat

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Re: "Indian" powderhorn ???
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2011, 02:35:04 AM »
even recently!

Offline Dphariss

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Re: "Indian" powderhorn ???
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2011, 05:21:42 PM »
Okay...I am wary of all things advertised "Indian". I bought this powderhorn quite a few years back off ebay. It came from Iowa and was advertised as an "Indian" or "Native American" powderhorn from an estate sale...out of a collection of Native American artifacts. I liked the look of the horn....definately has some age to it....nice color...etc.  It was worth what I paid for it....no matter what. The red paint seems to be naturally worn away from where a hand would come into contact....gold flecks showing through....etc....looks to me like natural wear. Does anybody know anything about these or have any thoughts on it??? Also...it arrived about half full of powder. The stopper is stuck fast and obviously hasn't been removed in years. I can shake some of the powder out through a small gap in the back. It doesn't look like the powder I am used to shooting...which is very uniform....this is almost like irregular "shards". I am sure  that I could load it into my kentucky rifle and fire away....even after all these years.  Is there anyway to date powder? Thanks...Jeremy







Mad Monk might be able to give some insight on the powder.
Sharp edged granules indicate little or no polish after the powder was broken from the "cake" form.
Polished grains have a more rounded look and no really sharp edges.
If you put a little in you palm and rub it it will tell if its graphited or not since it will rub off on you palm.
This is an old way of testing for graphite.
Dan
« Last Edit: May 13, 2020, 05:55:39 PM by rich pierce »
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Offline vtbuck223

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Re: "Indian" powderhorn ???
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2011, 10:23:53 PM »
Thanks all for the great discussion. I'm wondering if there are any paint experts out there....the red paint itself may hold the key to understanding atleast the paint part of the horn. Quite frankly, the deep rich shades of red with the gold coming through is what really is striking about the horn. The paint really has a natural wear/ patina to it that could only come from time. The various shades of the red from very dark to an almost pink where it is being worn away with the gold showing through as well.  I know that gold was used in making red glass at one time but can't find any mention of it being used in paint??? It's possible that the paint was slapped on the day this horn was completed but also may have been added much later as well. (For some reason the post is limiting my space so I will add some more comments and pics in subsequent posts) Jeremy



« Last Edit: May 13, 2020, 05:56:03 PM by rich pierce »

Offline vtbuck223

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Re: "Indian" powderhorn ???
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2011, 10:34:02 PM »
Hi again...there are 4 very small iron pins...holding the plug in place. There is no evidece of any other holes from a previous plug. However, I suppose they could have removed part of the horn to get below the old holes. I'm not sure why but the tiny iron pins seem odd to me for a nondescript plug replacement. Here is a closer pic of the pins...and the hole of where one of the pins would have been. Jeremy

« Last Edit: May 13, 2020, 06:38:10 PM by rich pierce »

Online Tim Crosby

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Re: "Indian" powderhorn ???
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2011, 12:03:49 AM »
 Is the staple in the base twisted and the one in the neck not?

 Thanks, Tim C,

Offline vtbuck223

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Re: "Indian" powderhorn ???
« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2011, 12:38:35 AM »
Tim...it doesn't appear that either are twisted...I believe you are seeing some pitting from rust in the middle of the plug staple. Jeremy

Offline vtbuck223

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Re: "Indian" powderhorn ???
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2011, 12:45:47 AM »
Here's another picture of the paint...color variances. Incidentally...I tried to remove the plug but had to stop as it was going to disintegrate. Also...the powder in the palm left no residue...but did smear on paper...more dirty than like graphite. Jeremy
« Last Edit: May 13, 2020, 06:38:35 PM by rich pierce »

Offline Belleville

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Re: "Indian" powderhorn ???
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2020, 04:19:01 AM »