Author Topic: An old horn put back into service  (Read 1748 times)

Offline Shopdog

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An old horn put back into service
« on: December 01, 2021, 04:32:51 AM »
I figured I'd repost this horn here since it's an original and someone voiced interest in it in the contemporary accoutrements section where it is part of a hunting set graced with a Kris Polizzi strap.  Perhaps more learned folks will recognize some regional characteristics in it.  The horn was purchased off ebay a few years ago but was in terrible shape - lots of large holes and powder post beetle damage.  I restored it best I could so I could use it.  As the pictures show there is a heart capturing the initials "J N" and the plug is marked with "S X E" and "1797".  Due to the condition of the horn and the wear of the markings I think they are likely original and not added later but I ain't the expert.  Regardless it fits good for the rifle and kit I'm putting together and I enjoy hunting with original horns. 
Length of inside curve is 11" from tip of spout to outside edge of lobe.  Diameter of oval plug is 8.5".  Alas there was no provenance to go with it.






Joe Davis
“We live in a bloody swamp! We need all the land we can get!

Offline rich pierce

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Re: An old horn put back into service
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2021, 05:21:43 AM »
Great horn!
Andover, Vermont

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: An old horn put back into service
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2021, 09:22:17 AM »
Great old horn for sure! The carry tab with the two holes is usually indicative of a horn that dates to the F&I War era, but not used much after the Rev. War.
Spout is also very nicely shaped, and horn is likely older than the date on the butt plug. It looks right as rain and you made a good find. The carpet beetle holes can be filled with a filler material which could be stained to match the general color of the horn jacket. Maybe you already did that since nothing is obvious. Thank you for posting the photos, enjoyed seeing them.
Dick

Offline Dutch Blacky

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Re: An old horn put back into service
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2021, 10:40:00 AM »
Great horn and great restauration.
What did you use to fill the holes and to repair  the beetle damage?

Thanks
« Last Edit: December 01, 2021, 03:21:02 PM by Dutch Blacky »

Offline Rajin cajun

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Re: An old horn put back into service
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2021, 06:51:08 PM »
I also would like to know what you used to repair the insect damage on this horn .
Thanks .!
It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog !

Offline Shopdog

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Re: An old horn put back into service
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2021, 12:44:31 AM »
In answer to your questions on fixing the horn here are two pics showing various spots I filled in.  In the case of powder post beetle holes I used beeswax mixed with pigment to darken it and simply rubbed the wax into the holes then burnished off the surface with cloth.  The larger holes were trickier.  There was a portion of the lobe that was eaten away where it attaches to the body of the horn and a large hole 1" in diameter in the body of the horn.  These were filled in with successive layers of 2 part wood epoxy putty, also mixed with pigment.  After it began to set I rubbed the surface smooth with a damp cloth to even it out and then burnished it with a piece of bone.  The large hole (the light colored area under the heart and initials) required building up a lip of putty inside and outside to secure it to the horn and then work the putty across the gap to fill it in.  I used JB Weld wood putty and it sets rather quickly so once it started to firm up it was easier to get it across the entire hole and still hold it's shape.  Once the putty was fully set it was burnished with beeswax.  The end result of these repairs is quite secure and waterproof.  I suppose I could have played around with pigments to match the horn color closer but I prefer the repairs to be visible to the trained eye of any future conservator or collector.
Joe






Joe Davis
“We live in a bloody swamp! We need all the land we can get!

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: An old horn put back into service
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2021, 01:57:26 AM »
Seems to me that you have worked out a very satisfactory solution to a really big problem with powder horns. It looks good and I have seen untouched horns with similar 'spots.'
I have always thought that using dental bonding material would be a good fit for this, but never tried it. It is a two part resin the has to be cured with light. So, not being a dentist, I don't have these things and they may be expensive. The dental bonding material can be colored with additives and theoretically it should work well. It can be filed and shaped with ease, but it is pretty durable. Any dentists out there?
Dick

Offline Shopdog

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Re: An old horn put back into service
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2021, 03:18:04 AM »
That’s an excellent idea using dental putty! My gun building “skills” ( or lack there of) necessitate a proficiency in wood filler so it was a go to approach. 
Joe



Joe Davis
“We live in a bloody swamp! We need all the land we can get!

Offline Rajin cajun

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Re: An old horn put back into service
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2021, 04:09:41 AM »
Thanks Shopdog..! 👍👍

Bob
It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog !

Offline Dutch Blacky

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Re: An old horn put back into service
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2021, 09:42:06 AM »
Thanks a lot shopdog.

I tried it with a product named "liquid wood", but it is not easy to mix the resin with pigment the right way, so one will get the right color.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2021, 10:11:46 AM by Dutch Blacky »

Offline Tecumseh

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Re: An old horn put back into service
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2021, 04:15:09 AM »
Excellent restoration/repair to this fine horn, Shop dog. Love the natural patina and graceful shape of this horn. Thanks for sharing.