Author Topic: Original "Catalina" Newfoundland Powder Horn UPDATED  (Read 8787 times)

Offline Majorjoel

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Original "Catalina" Newfoundland Powder Horn UPDATED
« on: October 13, 2011, 08:39:45 PM »
A little over a year ago I ran across this old powder horn. Today, I had the opportunity to take a few pictures and attempt to decifer the wording that is scrimmed upon it. The camera failed to pick up the pair of sailing ships that are present. There are worn spots in places  that have erradicated some of the letters and dates, but what remains is pretty cool.  Here is what I came up with:  HOMAS WILT SHARE       WAS BORN IN CATALINA        IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD      OLD SEALS BEWARE OF       HIS LONG GUN APRIL ????????        There is an interesting fish or infinity symbol with an open tail in between each word. It has a little "flag" running through it. These symbols are very small.                  
« Last Edit: May 12, 2020, 09:41:59 PM by rich pierce »
Joel Hall

Offline Majorjoel

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Re: Original "Catalina" West Coast Powder Horn
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2011, 08:46:30 PM »
                     
« Last Edit: May 12, 2020, 09:42:19 PM by rich pierce »
Joel Hall

Offline Majorjoel

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Re: Original "Catalina" West Coast Powder Horn
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2011, 08:50:31 PM »
                    
« Last Edit: May 12, 2020, 09:42:41 PM by rich pierce »
Joel Hall

Offline Majorjoel

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Re: Original "Catalina" West Coast Powder Horn
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2011, 08:54:17 PM »
     
« Last Edit: May 12, 2020, 09:43:03 PM by rich pierce »
Joel Hall

Online rich pierce

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Re: Original "Catalina" West Coast Powder Horn
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2011, 09:30:03 PM »
That is a treasure.  Thanks for sharing.  Helps us also know what an old original un-restored horn looks like.
Andover, Vermont

Offline Bill-52

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Re: Original "Catalina" West Coast Powder Horn
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2011, 10:51:01 PM »
Joel,

What a great find and an intriguing inscription.  Just curious, did you find it on the west coast or in your neck of the woods?  Thanks for posting.

Bill

Offline alyce-james

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Re: Original "Catalina" West Coast Powder Horn
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2011, 11:05:07 PM »
Congratulations on one outstanding find. I'm really enjoying the puzzling, at least to me, engraved wording. Thanks for sharing. AJ 
"Candy is Dandy but Liquor is Quicker". by Poet Ogden Nash 1931.

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Original "Catalina" West Coast Powder Horn
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2011, 12:48:13 AM »
 What the heck am I doing wrong?? What a find, Great horn, Thanks for posting.

   Tim C.

eseabee1

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Re: Original "Catalina" West Coast Powder Horn
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2011, 02:11:30 AM »
very nice thanks for sharing

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: Original "Catalina" West Coast Powder Horn
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2011, 02:42:25 AM »
Joel, it took you long enought to get that horn. But, it is as nice as you had originally described it and worth the wait.
It looks dry and could use a coat of lanolin or wax. Thank you for bringing us more photos.
The style suggests a New England horn which would agree with the seal/otter/whale trade carried on here in California in the 1800s.
Wish you could decipher more of the inscription as it could be quite interesting. What I make of it is Thomas Wiltshare (Wilshire?) or some variation. A major arterial in Los Angeles is Wilshire Blvd. which may have been named for someone. I don't know. You can check it out.
I doubt that the fellow would have been born on Catalina Island, however, but that can also be checked. The Channel Islands had some ranches and hunting sea/camps, but few to no permanent residents. This can also be checked. Nice find.
Dick   

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Re: Original "Catalina" West Coast Powder Horn
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2011, 03:23:43 AM »
IIRC, I read somewhere that the sea otter hunt in CA was centered on and around Catalina, with shooting done mostly from elevated tower blinds.  If I can find that source, I'll post it.  It would be really interesting if his name popped up in that reference.  Great find!

Offline Majorjoel

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Re: Original "Catalina" West Coast Powder Horn
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2011, 04:31:23 AM »
 Doing some internet searching, I believe my initial west coast locale is totally wrong. I find Thomas Wiltshire from the Trinity Bay region of Catalina Newfoundland.  Dick, I took your advise and rubbed the old horn down with lanolin (bag balm) I also uncovered a legible date after the Year Of Our Lord ...1837. My study continues!  Thanks for all of your comments and info with this, this is more fun than a barrel of monkeys!  Bill, I found this horn locally.
Joel Hall

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: Original "Catalina" West Coast Powder Horn
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2011, 08:01:28 AM »
Joel, the Newfoundland location makes more sense than that of Catalina Island on the west
coast. There are many seals up in that area and they are probably fur seals, whereas our seals are elephant, or harbor seals for the most part. Given that the horn has New England styling, it gets even more believable. Didn't know that there was a Catalina up in Canada. The word is the Spanish name for Catharine, and the island was named by them for her. Some Spaniard must have really been lost to land up there in the north Atlantic, but he left that name on some landmark. Let us know as you find out more about your great find.
Dick

Offline Kermit

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Re: Original "Catalina" West Coast Powder Horn
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2011, 08:20:56 PM »
Kind of nice it's not an otter hunting artifact. Up here on the Washington coast, there was "commercial" otter hunting during the 19th century. The photos I've seen were well into the cartridge era. It was usually done in teams of two or three. Many were farmers/homesteaders looking for a winter supplement to the family income. One would be in a high tripod of logs erected on the beach, sometimes with a wee cabin to protect from the relentless rain. One leg of the tripod was often set into the surf, so access was best at low tide. The otters were spotted in the kelp beds offshore and shot at pretty long range. While one was shooting, the partner was walking the beach to recover carcasses washed ashore. Some estimates put the rate of recovery at about 10% of those shot. Makes the decimation of the plains buffalo look positively an ecologically sensitive marvel.

Cool find, BTW!
"Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly." Mae West

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: Original "Catalina" West Coast Powder Horn
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2011, 09:52:22 PM »
Let's not forget the Russians, and their Aleut employees who began otter hunting in the 1700s, either. They pretty well plundered the otters early on.
Dick 

Offline Majorjoel

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Re: Original "Catalina" Newfoundland Powder Horn UPDATED
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2011, 02:17:45 PM »
With the application of lanolin to the horns surface, I discovered many more details in the scrimshaw work. There are a total of six three masted sailing ships that are three across in two rows. They run from the butt plug end sailing towards the spout end. Each of these ships are done quite "folky" but highly detailed with rigging and open sails. All along the base plug circle, that is if you were to stand the horn on it's base plug end, there are trees scrimmed all the way around the base. The two dates I was looking for came to light fairly well. Thomas Wiltshare (Wiltshire) was born in Catalina in the year of our Lord 1837 Old Seals Beware of his Long Gun April 14 1871. This I believe to be the message in it's entirety.  With the modern wonders of the internet, I quickly found references to a Thomas Wiltshire born in Catalina Newfoundland off of the Grand Banks. Catalina is a small fishing village along Trinity Bay. Thomas died on Dec. 16, 1907 and was buried in the United Methodist Church cemetery, Catalina. I could not find exact birth records for him, but he is listed as being 73 years of age at his death. That would put him in the 1834 date but 1837 would have made him 70.  A persons age can get a might confusing over the coarse of a lifetime!  :D Thomas was married three times. He also had several children. First marriage to Amelia Jane not recorded. Son John born to her July 30,1864. Second son William born Oct. 7, 1868, third son Francis born Sept. 7, 1873. Thomas Wiltshire's second marriage to Agnes Lodge is recorded Mar. 2, 1884. Third marriage to Laura M. Hayward Dec. 25, 1886.  A William Wiltshire born 1831 died Aug. 29, 1911 is very possibly a brother to Thomas. There is also recorded a lot of information about the children of the Wiltshire clan. Many many deaths at very young ages with a couple going on the same date. I can easily paint a grim picture of the life of a late 19th century fisherman\hunter.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2011, 02:24:19 PM by Majorjoel »
Joel Hall

Offline Majorjoel

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Re: Original "Catalina" Newfoundland Powder Horn UPDATED
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2011, 02:36:58 PM »
I just want to add that this experience is a first for me in discovery of details regarding a powder horn. I found it most fascinating! Although the time frame being a bit later than I would have preferred, the knowledge of the history sure brings an old artifact to life! I'd like to thank everyone for their interest here.....Special thanks to Dick G..er...MrNogold......Joel   
« Last Edit: October 15, 2011, 02:52:48 PM by Majorjoel »
Joel Hall