Author Topic: Might this be an antique southern horn??  (Read 1845 times)

Offline Dutch Blacky

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Might this be an antique southern horn??
« on: March 30, 2023, 12:11:59 PM »
Hello ye all

Today I got a question to all the connoisseurs and lovers of antique powder horns.

I was offered a powder horn by a club mate's widow. She thinks her husband bought the horn on a trip to the USA. He had told her it was antique, from the early 19th century.

Since I'm not really familiar with horns, I would like to ask  for your opinion on this. Could the horn really be antique? Maybe a Southern Banded Horn?
Unfortunately I don't have any more pictures.

Thanks











Length about 7 inches
« Last Edit: March 30, 2023, 12:17:46 PM by Dutch Blacky »

Offline rich pierce

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Re: Might this be an antique southern horn??
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2023, 01:25:47 PM »
Those bands look integral, not applied, so I think technically itís not a banded horn. I canít tell 100%. Very cool and interesting small original horn. It stands out to me.
Andover, Vermont

Online Tim Crosby

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Re: Might this be an antique southern horn??
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2023, 04:22:47 PM »
 Sometimes horns from Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee are seen with bands carved on/from the horn itself. So I would say it is still in the Banded horn arena. One example can be seen on Pg 40 of Dr. Hopkins'  "Bone Tipped & Banded Horns Pt II.
 Neat horn, very nice workmanship on the rings, how big/long is it? Looks like it may be a pocket or bag horn. I can't see the bottom well enough to see if there is a staple of screw mark. 

    Tim C.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2023, 06:57:55 PM by Tim Crosby »

Offline Dutch Blacky

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Re: Might this be an antique southern horn??
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2023, 05:14:21 PM »
The horn is about 7 inches long.

I could not see a staple or screw mark at the bottom

Offline Dutch Blacky

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Re: Might this be an antique southern horn??
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2023, 05:28:00 PM »



On closer look at the photos, I noticed a structure that might have been a plaque. The horn might have been painted brown.

Offline Dutch Blacky

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Re: Might this be an antique southern horn??
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2023, 10:31:57 PM »
Thank you for your assessment. This is very helpful for me.
I want to offer a fair price for the horn, but then again, I don't have the money to waste on tourist knick-knacks.

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: Might this be an antique southern horn??
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2023, 11:58:47 PM »
All the information you can add may help narrow the identification. Why don't you tell us where it has turned up? Don't know where you are, but these things can show up most anywhere these days. Are you in Europe? Don't be coy.
Dick

Offline Dutch Blacky

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Re: Might this be an antique southern horn??
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2023, 01:25:50 AM »
Yes, you are right.
The flask is in Europe, southern Germany.

The only information about the origin of the flask is from the actual owner. She says that - as far as she knows - her husband aquired this  flask in the USA. (Or somewhere on South America)

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Might this be an antique southern horn??
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2023, 02:25:51 AM »
The horn appears to be origina. The "plaque" looks like a "dribble" area from something (shellac?) getting on the horn surface years ago. The flat plug, with what appears to be a wide grained soft wood, suggests a New England origin... but some of the photos (#2 & #4) won't enlarge for better viewing of the plug to be sure. With integrally carved bands, it could be "southern" but could also be a New England horn, where I've seen similar bands on a couple of horns made near the coast. Neat horn with nice surface, and probably a bag horn as Tim suggested.

Shelby Gallien

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: Might this be an antique southern horn??
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2023, 02:44:50 AM »
DB, I would buy that horn in a minute without any worries. It is a really good horn, an American horn and I have one very much like it that is southern USA. Danke for the extra information. Hope that you go for it, and as others have said, it is a bag, or even a pocket horn. Appreciate your posting the photos and letting us have a look.
Dick

Offline Dutch Blacky

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Re: Might this be an antique southern horn??
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2023, 10:13:31 AM »
Thank you for your opinions and good advice on the horn shown.
What would be a fair price for it? I've seen antique horns (Without great carvings) starting at $30 to $250 on auction sites.

Thanks again

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Might this be an antique southern horn??
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2023, 09:56:05 PM »
It's a good horn with its dark finish, no significant damage, and the integral carved rings that add interest to it. But size is also a factor in horn values, and this one is rather small, a pocket horn as previously mentioned. Strap horns usually bring more than pocket horns due in part to the plug attachment device that adds interest. Higher domed, lathe-turned butt plugs also generally draw more attention than flat plugs, because it adds another interesting detail. For its smaller size, I'd think $85-$100 would be a reasonable value range for this horn.

Shelby Gallien

Offline Dutch Blacky

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Re: Might this be an antique southern horn??
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2023, 10:33:36 PM »
Thank you  Shelby

Horns are mostly significant cheaper in Germany than in the States. A simple european flat horn is  seldom  more expensive than 25 to 40 Ä.

I think that's because of political agitation against weapons and all items that are related with guns. So I think, 60 Ä might be a fair offer for this horn.


Online Tim Crosby

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Re: Might this be an antique southern horn??
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2023, 01:21:29 AM »
 65 U.S. dollars? Wonder what shipping to the U.S. would be?

   Tim

Offline Dutch Blacky

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Re: Might this be an antique southern horn??
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2023, 03:15:24 AM »
A DHL package (   deliverd by    United States Postal Service ) up to 5 kg will be 47,99 EUR. You got to add a declaration for the toll and a bill. Gifts up to 100 $ might be toll free.

UPS will be more expensiv.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2023, 03:19:33 AM by Dutch Blacky »

Offline Dutch Blacky

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Re: Might this be an antique southern horn??
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2023, 03:32:46 PM »
Today I got that small horn, and  I paid 80 Euros for it.

The old lady told me, she is quite sure that her husband bought the horn in the Old Tranding Post in Santa Fe in 1976. It was said to be antique

At close inspection the base plug seems to be some kind of hard wood, (no oak).
The horn itself seems to have been painted with a blue-grey-lilac color which has been partially rubbed off.

The bands are carved.












« Last Edit: April 09, 2023, 10:19:02 AM by Dutch Blacky »

Offline Dutch Blacky

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Re: Might this be an antique southern horn??
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2023, 02:49:57 AM »
What type of spout plug would be best for this horn? How should it look like?

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Might this be an antique southern horn??
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2023, 05:05:04 AM »
Most horns have had their stopper replaced many times during their working life, so no single style is perfect. AVOID those terrible looking black violin keys, since they are a modern invention.

If it were my horn, I'd make a "standard shaped" stopper of red cedar, rounded [by scrapping] and slightly tapered on end going into horn, with taper large enough to fit tightly when end is about 3/4" into horn spout. Perhaps an eighth to quarter inch above the spout tip, the stopper should begin to flare out slightly and get a little thinner, creating slightly thinner/wider "handle" for pinching between the fingers [or teeth] to remove the stopper... handle section perhaps 3/4" long.

The tapered end going into horn should be scrapped into taper so it has some slight ridges running down it... the horn itself will round it up as it's used. Soft wood is needed to take the shape of spout hole and not risk splitting spout when you get too rambunctious.

Then bite the "handle" end a number of times, leaving teeth marks, so it looks like a real one!

Darken the stopper a little, rub out a few soft highlights, and you're done.

If red cedar is not available, use some other SOFT wood like fir or soft pine... but most of the old ones I've seen have been red cedar.

Shelby Gallien
« Last Edit: April 13, 2023, 05:53:34 AM by Tanselman »

Offline Dutch Blacky

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Re: Might this be an antique southern horn??
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2023, 03:00:06 PM »
Thank you for the detailed explanation and good advice, Shelby. I'll try to get red ceder and then carve some stoppers.

Online Tim Crosby

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Re: Might this be an antique southern horn??
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2023, 05:02:10 PM »
AVOID those terrible looking black violin keys, since they are a modern invention.

Shelby Gallien

 Amen!

   Tim

Offline Notchy Bob

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Re: Might this be an antique southern horn??
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2023, 07:10:09 PM »
Thank you, Dutch Blacky, for showing this interesting horn, and for the excellent pictures.  Congratulations on your acquisition!

I am not an expert, but I would say the integral carved rings are unusual.  I understood from a previous post that the former owner bought the horn from an old trading post in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  This is a potential clue to the horn's origin.

For comparison, consider this antique buffalo (bison) powder horn in the New Mexico state museum in Santa Fe:



That image is from a magazine article by Doc Carlson, "Muzzleloader visits the New Mexico State Museum," in the May/June 1979 issue of Muzzleloader magazine.  I see integral carved rings on the buffalo horn, also.  It may be a leap of faith with a sample of only two, but I would suggest at least considering a possible southwestern origin.  Most powderhorn studies seem to focus on horns from the east, and to my knowledge, there has not been a serious study done of powder horns originating in the west.  Surely, some were made.

The other thing is that I have seen photos of powder horns from Mexico ("Old" Mexico) which were virtually covered with high relief carving, usually in plant or animal forms.  A hornmaker of less artistic skill may have used the same principle of high relief carving, but in a simplified design, such as the rings carved on the subject horn as well as the bison horn in the New Mexico state museum.

So, my hypothesis would be a southwestern origin with possible Hispanic influence.

Regardless of where it was made, it is a lovely old horn.  The lilac paint job may have come later... Some people are obsessed with painting things, especially natural objects (like deer antlers) antiques with a worn finish.  Your horn is beautiful as it is, but a museum conservator might be able to suggest a way to remove the paint without damaging the underlying patina.

Best regards,

Notchy Bob
"Should have kept the old ways just as much as I could, and the tradition that guarded us.  Should have rode horses.  Kept dogs."

from The Antelope Wife

Offline Dutch Blacky

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Re: Might this be an antique southern horn??
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2023, 09:14:15 PM »
Thank you a lot for your interesting explanations,  Bob.

I'm always amazed at how much knowledge there is among forum members and how willingly it is shared.

Offline backsplash75

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Re: Might this be an antique southern horn??
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2023, 12:15:38 AM »
AVOID those terrible looking black violin keys, since they are a modern invention.

Shelby Gallien

 Amen!

   Tim

not to derail, but Copley's portrait of Major Scott has a neat rare image of a rounded neatly executed plug fwiw.




Offline Dutch Blacky

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Re: Might this be an antique southern horn??
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2023, 08:56:43 AM »
THANKS FOR THE PIC
That is very interesting