Author Topic: Thoughts on this piece..  (Read 2456 times)

Offline aaronc

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Thoughts on this piece..
« on: March 29, 2021, 01:33:03 AM »
I have an artist I follow on instagram that has asked me about this old horn. I'm not an expert on the vintage stuff but know some of you are. With his  permission I'm posting here for any thoughts on the piece. Tip is solid...if it was going to be a powder horn it wasn't finished...and obviously no plug...but some work was done on the larger end,..sort of in a "lobe fashion" is what I call it. It has a green coat of paint on it as you can see. He believes the horn to be buffalo....I am going to copy and paste the info he sent me below. Thank you guys for looking.


"I'm a wildlife biologist by profession and have had a lot of handling of skulls including buffalo and cow and am pretty sure it's a buffer. I used to have an acquaintance that could test it for sure but I'm not sure he's still around. But the curve and coloration make me pretty sure. not that it makes much difference. It's got some kind of primitive design scratched onto the paint exposing black horn underneath, I've had it a long time and found it in a house here in Maine along with one old beaded Indian moccasin with some writing on the bottom of it dated in the 1800's
I will go out tomorrow and see if I can find it and tell you what it says." 













- Aaron C
At the work bench.

Offline aaronc

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Re: Thoughts on this piece..
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2021, 01:39:27 AM »
Maybe I should have posted in the Antique section...I'm just not use to using that. Mods feel free to move.
- Aaron C
At the work bench.

Offline TN Longhunter

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Re: Thoughts on this piece..
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2021, 03:29:56 AM »
I have a  similar small cow horn with the same scalloped end. There is a padded, cloth cover where a base plug would be and was use to store needles and pins. It is a hanging pin cushion.
Don Spires
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Offline mr. no gold

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Re: Thoughts on this piece..
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2021, 04:59:44 AM »
It is an ornamental, decorative piece and I concur with TN LH as to it's having been, (or intended to be) a [pin cushion. Nice find, though a bit tattered. That can all be fixed, by the way.
Thank you for bringing it in.
Dickl

Offline Daniel Coats

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Re: Thoughts on this piece..
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2021, 05:08:43 AM »
Cow horn not Bison however.
Dan

"Ain't no nipples on a man's rifle"

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Thoughts on this piece..
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2021, 04:24:43 PM »
 Wonder if it could have been set up on a stand or holder as a vase, Green would have been a good color for it.

    Tim C.


Stonehouse john

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Re: Thoughts on this piece..
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2021, 05:35:22 PM »
It's a bit hard to tell the exact scale of this horn from the photos.  There's a possibility, especially having been found in Maine, that it could have been a form of sail-maker's horn.  In the days of sailing ships, sailmakers, riggers and also common sailors and fishermen would sometimes have a horn configured such that it could be hung by the open end to hold the needed tools for rigging and sewing repairs (small fids, awls, marlinspikes, and sail needles) so the tools wouldn't go overboard during use on a rolling ship.  When working on deck or aloft it could be worn around the neck to keep those tools accessable but hands-free.  Horn was a good choice because leather scabbards didn't do well in constant saltwater exposure and the taper of the horn would slightly wedge-in a varied assortment of items in a way that wouldn't allow them to be easily spilled out.  Like most personal effects, some of these were purely utilitarian and some were beautifully and intricately detailed; most probably fell somewhere in between. 
Just a thought.

John







« Last Edit: March 30, 2021, 01:44:25 AM by Stonehouse john »

Offline aaronc

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Re: Thoughts on this piece..
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2021, 02:15:11 AM »
I have a  similar small cow horn with the same scalloped end. There is a padded, cloth cover where a base plug would be and was use to store needles and pins. It is a hanging pin cushion.

Thanks for the response. -Aaron
- Aaron C
At the work bench.

Offline aaronc

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Re: Thoughts on this piece..
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2021, 02:16:10 AM »
It is an ornamental, decorative piece and I concur with TN LH as to it's having been, (or intended to be) a [pin cushion. Nice find, though a bit tattered. That can all be fixed, by the way.
Thank you for bringing it in.
Dickl

Your welcome,...this is my one stop shop for these kinds of questions...Thanks -Aaron
- Aaron C
At the work bench.

Offline aaronc

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Re: Thoughts on this piece..
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2021, 02:18:46 AM »
It's a bit hard to tell the exact scale of this horn from the photos.  There's a possibility, especially having been found in Maine, that it could have been a form of sail-maker's horn.  In the days of sailing ships, sailmakers, riggers and also common sailors and fishermen would sometimes have a horn configured such that it could be hung by the open end to hold the needed tools for rigging and sewing repairs (small fids, awls, marlinspikes, and sail needles) so the tools wouldn't go overboard during use on a rolling ship.  When working on deck or aloft it could be worn around the neck to keep those tools accessable but hands-free.  Horn was a good choice because leather scabbards didn't do well in constant saltwater exposure and the taper of the horn would slightly wedge-in a varied assortment of items in a way that wouldn't allow them to be easily spilled out.  Like most personal effects, some of these were purely utilitarian and some were beautifully and intricately detailed; most probably fell somewhere in between. 
Just a thought.

John













I thought geographic may give a clue or 2,..I made sure and ask him before I posted...Interesting theory with the sail maker. Thanks for the response,..and great pics.
- Aaron C
At the work bench.

Offline aaronc

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Re: Thoughts on this piece..
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2021, 02:21:04 AM »
Wonder if it could have been set up on a stand or holder as a vase, Green would have been a good color for it.

    Tim C.

I thought of that as well....I thought the base work on it was nicely done. Someone cared enough about it to put a little time in it. You came to mind when I saw the green paint,..I think it has actually held up well over the years. It's good reference  :)
- Aaron C
At the work bench.