Author Topic: Bone Tipped Powder Horn from Virginia With Two-Piece Butt Plug  (Read 2120 times)

Offline Tanselman

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I think I posted this horn a year or two go, but thought I'd post it again in case new viewers might like to see it. The horn "walked" into the Fisherville, Virginia, outdoor antique show some years ago. It has a turned bone tip, two applied horn rings, old tack decoration, and a two-piece butt plug that separates to expose a large internal funnel for filling the horn.  The horn is about 13" on the outside curve and of medium size. The threaded, two-piece butt plug is a rare feature and interesting to see. Its separation line is virtually invisible when the plug is together, and it was only discovered when examining the horn a week or two after getting it... a pleasant surprise that I think the prior owner missed. Several knowledgeable powder horn collectors have seen the horn and attribute it to the Upper Valley of Virginia.

Shelby Gallien







« Last Edit: July 18, 2022, 06:58:40 AM by Tanselman »

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Bone Tipped Powder Horn from Virginia With Two-Piece Butt Plug
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2022, 03:56:09 PM »
 Great horn, used for a long time as the wear areas show.. Are there other pins holding the butt in? Just wondering if the tacks could have been added later. 

  Tim

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Bone Tipped Powder Horn from Virginia With Two-Piece Butt Plug
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2022, 11:00:48 PM »
Tim,

Yes, there are original small pins located between the tack heads that attach the plug.

Shelby Gallien

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Bone Tipped Powder Horn from Virginia With Two-Piece Butt Plug
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2022, 11:07:23 PM »
 Thanks, one more; do holes show in the portion of the bands that show wear?

   Tim
« Last Edit: July 18, 2022, 04:18:34 PM by Tim Crosby »

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: Bone Tipped Powder Horn from Virginia With Two-Piece Butt Plug
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2022, 03:20:38 AM »
Yeah Boy!! This one is a screamer all right. Wow! Thank you Shelby for posting it here.
Dick

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Bone Tipped Powder Horn from Virginia With Two-Piece Butt Plug
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2022, 06:43:00 AM »
Tim,

I'm not exactly clear on what you are asking. If by "holes" you mean pins anchoring the bands, then no. There is no evidence of the rings being pinned. If you are asking about the chipped-out area where one band was worn very thin, I guess you could call that damaged area a "hole" in the band. If I misunderstood what you were asking, please ask again. I enlarged the three views to assist in studying them.

Shelby Gallien
« Last Edit: July 18, 2022, 06:56:34 AM by Tanselman »

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Bone Tipped Powder Horn from Virginia With Two-Piece Butt Plug
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2022, 04:17:37 PM »
 What I should have asked; Does it look like the tacks went all the way around the bands at one time? Wondering if they were added after the wear. No matter what, still a Great horn.

   Thanks, Tim

PS: Is the butt Maple or Walnut, hard to tell by Pix? TC
« Last Edit: July 18, 2022, 04:40:00 PM by Tim Crosby »

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Bone Tipped Powder Horn from Virginia With Two-Piece Butt Plug
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2022, 11:29:15 PM »
Tim,

Plug is two pieces of end-grain walnut. There are no "ghost" holes for old tacks on the back side/carry side of the bands. The plug's tacks run completely around the perimeter, but the bands were only tack-decorated on the front sides, leaving back of bands bare and prone to heavy wear. Too bad the bands weren't tacked all the way around; tacks might have preserved the back side of the bands better.

Despite my being a huge Tansel and Mercer County [OH] fan, this is one of my very favorite horns due to the fine lathe work on both the plug and the spout. For being an uncarved horn, it's a fascinating and very well-done piece of work.

By the way, if you look closely on the left end of the dark, front view, there is a small "W" carved on the horn. I think this is George Washington's personal horn; just wish his cherry tree axe came with it!

Shelby Gallien
« Last Edit: July 18, 2022, 11:34:01 PM by Tanselman »

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Bone Tipped Powder Horn from Virginia With Two-Piece Butt Plug
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2022, 01:07:03 AM »
 Thank You. I did notice the "W" (By the way, if you look closely on the left end of the dark, front view, there is a small "W" carved on the horn. I think this is George Washington's personal horn; just wish his cherry tree axe came with it!)  :)

  Tim

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Bone Tipped Powder Horn from Virginia With Two-Piece Butt Plug
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2022, 03:16:50 AM »
Tim,

One more comment might better explain the tack decoration and when added to the horn. The rings' heavy wear appears to run up to the tack heads, tapering toward the heads but NOT running into, touching, or going below, the heads. Tack heads sit on totally unworn sections of the horn rings. This indicates the tacks were added very early in the horn's life, well before all the heavy ring wear on the back side occurred. I'd surmise that the original owner added the tacks almost immediately after purchasing the horn.

Opinions may vary on tacked horns, but I don't believe professional "of the trade" horn-makers tacked their new work. I believe tacking was done by the owner, as a way of giving the horn more visual appeal and adding his own "statement" to the horn... making it feel more like his own personalized horn.

Shelby Gallien
« Last Edit: July 19, 2022, 03:22:30 AM by Tanselman »

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Bone Tipped Powder Horn from Virginia With Two-Piece Butt Plug
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2022, 08:57:46 AM »
 Thanks and I agree with your thinking on the tacks.

    Tim
« Last Edit: July 19, 2022, 09:43:31 PM by Tim Crosby »

Offline Rajin cajun

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Re: Bone Tipped Powder Horn from Virginia With Two-Piece Butt Plug
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2022, 05:40:57 AM »
Great horn sir, Iíve got one Iíll have to get out with a similar type base. It came with original bag . With provenance to a Va. family.
Bob
Itís not the size of the dog in the fight, itís the size of the fight in the dog !

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Bone Tipped Powder Horn from Virginia With Two-Piece Butt Plug
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2022, 02:40:42 PM »
 I'd like to see that one too.

   Tim

Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: Bone Tipped Powder Horn from Virginia With Two-Piece Butt Plug
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2022, 09:42:52 PM »
Wonderful horn!
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.

Offline Bull Shannon

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Re: Bone Tipped Powder Horn from Virginia With Two-Piece Butt Plug
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2022, 04:11:19 AM »
Very interesting, thank you for sharing it. I'm surprised that no one  copied it.
You can't kill a man who is born to hang!

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Bone Tipped Powder Horn from Virginia With Two-Piece Butt Plug
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2022, 03:47:28 PM »
Very interesting, thank you for sharing it. I'm surprised that no one  copied it.

 When it was new before the wear and tacks:

    https://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=72871.msg727212#msg727212

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Bone Tipped Powder Horn from Virginia With Two-Piece Butt Plug
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2022, 06:14:02 AM »
Tim,

How come the threaded post in your butt plug's nose piece isn't integral with the nose piece... just so you can tell your horn from mine???

Shelby

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Bone Tipped Powder Horn from Virginia With Two-Piece Butt Plug
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2022, 03:37:34 PM »
Tim,

How come the threaded post in your butt plug's nose piece isn't integral with the nose piece... just so you can tell your horn from mine???

Shelby

 Just wanted it to look like it but not a "Bench Copy" but something that could have been made in the same shop.

  Tim

Offline Robby

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Re: Bone Tipped Powder Horn from Virginia With Two-Piece Butt Plug
« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2022, 06:18:09 PM »
What a beauty!!!!!! Very thoughtfully made butt cap and very nicely done to boot!
Robby
molon labe
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Offline Tanselman

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Re: Bone Tipped Powder Horn from Virginia With Two-Piece Butt Plug
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2022, 12:09:10 AM »
Tim,

I knew you'd have a good answer!

Shelby

Offline Robby

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Re: Bone Tipped Powder Horn from Virginia With Two-Piece Butt Plug
« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2022, 02:48:35 PM »
I am curious about the wooden threads. Did they treat them with anything, maybe beeswax? seems like even with just humidity they would lock up. Did they have woodcutting dies for that job like we have today, they look very precisely done.
Robby
molon labe
We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution. A. Lincoln

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Bone Tipped Powder Horn from Virginia With Two-Piece Butt Plug
« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2022, 03:13:36 PM »
 I've done quite a few horns with threaded finials and have never had one lock up. I seal them with something, Tung Oil, Linseed oil and Bee's wax, Danish Oil, etc... Both sets of threads are done, allowed to dry and then use a buffing wheel on the male set to smooth them out, on the female set I run the tap back and forth a couple time to try an burnish them.
 I would think some threading was hand chased but I would also imagine, just like making screws there were metal screw plates or cutters made and taps to match. Would be interesting to hear other Ideas.
 Art DeCamp's book "Pennsylvania "Horns of the Trade" has some information on how threads were done but it is on horns.

  Tim   
« Last Edit: August 24, 2022, 03:31:24 PM by Tim Crosby »

Offline Jeff Murray

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Re: Bone Tipped Powder Horn from Virginia With Two-Piece Butt Plug
« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2022, 05:04:01 AM »
Are the taps you use to cut the threads typical metal cutting taps?

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Bone Tipped Powder Horn from Virginia With Two-Piece Butt Plug
« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2022, 03:08:33 PM »
Are the taps you use to cut the threads typical metal cutting taps?

  No, for tapping and threading wood I use this. This one is 1/2-8, larger sizes are available. It does not have a brand name on it but an online search will show many.

    Tim