Author Topic: North Carolina Horn...or Possibly South Carolina???  (Read 2528 times)

Offline Tanselman

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North Carolina Horn...or Possibly South Carolina???
« on: March 25, 2020, 10:31:27 PM »
I picked up an interesting ringed horn which I believe is a North Carolina bone-tipped horn, except for one detail. The nicely turned walnut butt plug screws apart, similar to an Eastern artillery horn, exposing a large internal funnel for loading the horn. I have never seen this detail on a NC horn. A knowledgeable friend suggested this might be a South Carolina horn. He didn't provide his reasoning for the attribution, but I think he had seen a horn with a somewhat similar butt plug on a horn he "attributed" to South Carolina. I would enjoy getting your thoughts on this horn, and particularly its exceptional butt plug. I'd also like opinions on why the front side is so dark - possibly shellacked years ago? But the backside shows good wear through whatever the dark surface "crud" is. For now, I am telling everyone the "crud" is dried, 200 years old bear grease!

Outside curve including tip is 14-3/4" and all tacks are old and original.

Shelby Gallien










« Last Edit: March 26, 2020, 03:43:28 AM by Tanselman »

Offline Robert Wolfe

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Re: North Carolina Horn...or Possibly South Carolina???
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2020, 11:43:48 PM »
Wow,that is a wonderful plug. Great horn all around.
Robert Wolfe
Northern Indiana

Offline BOB HILL

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Re: North Carolina Horn...or Possibly South Carolina???
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2020, 11:58:20 PM »
 GREAT horn, Shelby.There's your next project Tim Crosby.
 Bob
South Carolina Lowcountry

Offline MuskratMike

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Re: North Carolina Horn...or Possibly South Carolina???
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2020, 12:12:56 AM »
As to North or South Carolina I can't help. What I can tell you is this is one darn fine horn.
"Muskrat" Mike McGuire
Keep your eyes on the skyline, your flint sharp and powder dry.

Offline Mike from OK

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Re: North Carolina Horn...or Possibly South Carolina???
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2020, 12:16:23 AM »
As to North or South Carolina I can't help. What I can tell you is this is one darn fine horn.

X2

Mike

Offline Marcruger

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Re: North Carolina Horn...or Possibly South Carolina???
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2020, 12:48:03 AM »
Hah!  I think that IS a Tim Crosby horn, with simulated right side carry wear to the finish. Looks right out of Timís shop.  Seriously, that is a really neat horn. Yes, I would say VA, NC, or SC based on the tip, base and bands. The screw off base could have been copied from a passing military campaign horn.  I am no expert though. God bless, Marc

Offline mbriggs

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Re: North Carolina Horn...or Possibly South Carolina???
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2020, 04:03:38 AM »
I posted photos of a Mecklenburg County militia powder horn with a similar screw off base on the antique gun collecting board.















I expect your horn was made for a similar purpose.

Thanks for posting.

Michael
C. Michael Briggs

Offline Tanselman

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Re: North Carolina Horn...or Possibly South Carolina???
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2020, 05:32:16 AM »
Michael,

I responded over on the gun collecting board, but glad you answered here as well. Do you have any thoughts on the other similarities the two horns share:
     1. dark surfaces on both horns, as if they might have been coated with something during their working life,
     2. your horn also has brass tacks around its base near the plug.

Seems like more than a coincidence both horns have generally similar screw-off plugs, darkened surfaces, and tack decoration. As you mentioned above, seems to suggest militia/military service to me. Any thoughts on the dark surfaces and tacks?

From your response about two NC horns with similar plugs, I presume you think my horn is a North Carolina horn, not SC or VA. Also, how do you date these bone tipped NC horns...I am thinking 1820 for mine, but any guidance in dating would be appreciated. If militia-related, it would be nice if they dated to the War of 1812, but I'm not that knowledgeable to really know.

Shelby Gallien
« Last Edit: March 26, 2020, 06:12:08 PM by Tanselman »

Offline mbriggs

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Re: North Carolina Horn...or Possibly South Carolina???
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2020, 05:57:23 AM »
Shelby,
I think most of them date to the 1790 to 1820 period.

I own several Piedmont North  Carolina banded and bone tipped powder horns.

I have not seen one with a tip shaped like yours.  Have you sent photos to Jay Hopkins to see if he recognizes it?

I find horns often enough that I can often tell you what County it was made in.

I have seen nine banded and bone tipped horns that I know were made in Randolph County.

I don't know who the maker was, but I do know where he worked.







There was another unidentified horner who worked in Alamance County who made horns with single bands.

I know of three identical horns by this maker.






I have the advantage of living here and been blessed to see and own many great local horns and longrifles.

I still hope you will come and visit me.  I have a lot to share with you.

Thanks

Michael

« Last Edit: March 26, 2020, 06:03:26 AM by mbriggs »
C. Michael Briggs

Offline Cades Cove Fiddler

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Re: North Carolina Horn...or Possibly South Carolina???
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2020, 06:52:16 PM »
 ??? ??? ???... Mssrs. Briggs & Galliien,... By no means do I claim to be a horn man,.. therefore I pose an inquiry related to the horn illustrated by Mr. Briggs,...  the tip treatment on that horn having flats carved into it is a feature I have only seen on horns with a NC provenance,... I have a small horn from the mountains with ten flats on  approx. two inches of the tip end, and I have seen larger horns similar ... what say ye,...? ... regards,... CCF....

Offline mbriggs

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Re: North Carolina Horn...or Possibly South Carolina???
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2020, 09:13:20 PM »
Dana,
While I know quite a bit about the gunsmiths who worked in the Piedmont area of North Carolina, I know little or nothing about who made the powder horns in this section.  I have owned and seen enough of them over the years that I can often recognize multiple horns that were made by the same person, and often make an educated guess as to what county that person worked in.

With all of the research I have done over the last forty years, I have never found a record of a man's occupation listed as a horner.

My book on North Carolina Powder Horns includes photos of over 60 items made in this area. I sell the book for $40 and have had to reprint it twice.








Two of my favorite horns are on the covers.  The horn on the back cover was found in Randolph County with a Kennedy Rifle. The bands are carved, not applied, and has a pewter band, bone and pewter tip, with the original sling with ticking.

Thanks,

Michael 
C. Michael Briggs

Offline aaronc

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Re: North Carolina Horn...or Possibly South Carolina???
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2020, 04:38:37 AM »
I posted photos of a Mecklenburg County militia powder horn with a similar screw off base on the antique gun collecting board.















I expect your horn was made for a similar purpose.

Thanks for posting.

Michael


That's a graceful sonofagun, I love it.    .....really a narrow throat to be doing flat work on. Whata beauty,..thank for posting. -Aaron
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Offline Tanselman

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Re: North Carolina Horn...or Possibly South Carolina???
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2020, 05:25:05 AM »
I asked Jay Hopkins to look at the pictures of the banded horn with two-piece plug and give me his opinion on it. Jay thought it was probably not a North Carolina or South Carolina horn, since the bone tip looked more like Virginia or Tennessee work in his experience. He leaned toward Tennessee with Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky being other possibilities. He had seen the dark surface color before and thought it was probably an early sealant, or waterproofing, put on the horn and most often seen on Kentucky and Tennessee horns.

I have seen bone tipped horns from Kentucky with somewhat similar, shorter tips with multiple beads and coves, but those horns usually lack the rings on the body. The well-turned plug actually looks somewhat like a Tansel plug [in profile] from their Kentucky period with its graceful curves. It's not a Tansel, but I make the comment because the outline of the plug looks like better KY "bulbous" walnut plugs of the 1798-1820 period. Whoever made it must have been a good wood turner. Sure wish it were signed...and dated! 

Shelby Gallien
« Last Edit: March 27, 2020, 05:31:55 AM by Tanselman »

Offline Craig Wilcox

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Re: North Carolina Horn...or Possibly South Carolina???
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2020, 08:37:57 PM »
Shelby, you got to have a chat with those horners, tell them to put their name and mail address on the horns!

Actually, I really like those with the rings and the screw-out plug.   Mighty easy to refill, and they have a graceful look to them.
Craig Wilcox
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Offline G. Elsenbeck

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Re: North Carolina Horn...or Possibly South Carolina???
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2020, 03:05:45 AM »
Mr. Briggs, a PM sent.Gary
Journeyman in the Honourable Company of Horners (HCH) and a member in the Contemporary Longrifle Association (CLA)

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Offline T.C.Albert

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Re: North Carolina Horn...or Possibly South Carolina???
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2020, 04:44:45 PM »
Ditto.
TC
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Offline old george

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Re: North Carolina Horn...or Possibly South Carolina???
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2020, 01:33:59 AM »
There has been a lot of info forthcoming on these horns, This antique accouterments section is great.

george
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