Author Topic: What is this Horn damage?  (Read 1059 times)

Offline LynnC

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What is this Horn damage?
« on: April 13, 2023, 06:49:56 PM »
I purchased this horn recently and it has a paper thin area about 1-1/4Ē in diameter. What is this kind of damage. The only theory I can come up with is that something very acidic was touching the horn for a long period of time. It seems stable but I donít really know. Should I worry a out it?  Treat it in some way?  Thanks, Lynn



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Offline Cory Joe Stewart

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Re: What is this Horn damage?
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2023, 07:24:31 PM »
It could just be a worn spot.  Perhaps the horn was scrapped too thin in that area and just worn down from there.  I had an old one like that and a buddy wanted to use it.  So I wrapped that part of the horn in rawhide.

Cory Joe

Offline Robert Wolfe

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Re: What is this Horn damage?
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2023, 08:00:52 PM »
Beetle damage from the inside?
Robert Wolfe
Northern Indiana

Offline Tanselman

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Re: What is this Horn damage?
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2023, 08:06:50 PM »
The thin area looks like normal worm damage to me. When horns are put out of sight for long periods and not protected from worm/larva damage [moth balls], at times they get eaten like this one. You can see the worm holes in surface in the thin area, and much of the horn has been eaten away underneath the thin area. Horn is really hair that has grown together, and moth larva [same ones that eat wool clothes] love to eat it. It may eventually break through if handled too much. I've heard of experts using epoxy to fill worm holes and strengthen thin/weak areas on valuable horns, but I've never seen it done, and I'm not sure your horn would justify the expense. It's a decent horn to enjoy as-is, just don't drop or bump it too hard!

Shelby Gallien

Offline LynnC

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Re: What is this Horn damage?
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2023, 03:57:32 AM »
Thank gentlemen.   It has already broken through. Whats left in the affected area is micro thin with holes. Like rice paper. Should I treat it with something?
The price of eggs got so darn high, I bought chickens......

Offline jdm

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Re: What is this Horn damage?
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2023, 03:39:59 PM »
 You might want to spray some RAID on a cloth and wipe it down. Maybe quarantine it from any other horn items you have tell you feel save that the bug repellent has done it's job.
JIM

Offline JSMOSBY

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Re: What is this Horn damage?
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2023, 05:31:46 PM »
Easy fix.  I've done it many times on damaged and compromised horn by using an epoxy application from the inside and/or outside as needed. Looks like you have access to the inside which is optimal.   I only use clear or cream color 5-minute epoxy dependent on color of the surrounding area.  From what I can see the cream color will be just fine.  You don't need the longer cure-time products for this.  Apply a thin coat using minimal pressure so you don't compromise the damaged area.  It will flow a bit filling any thru holes thus regaining structure.  Any residue that extrudes to the outside thru the holes can easily be removed before the adhesive cures fully with a razor blade or hobby knife.  No problem removing even if it cures fully.  There's an earlier post of one of my severely damaged horns as an example.  Have fun.

Offline LynnC

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Re: What is this Horn damage?
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2023, 07:34:32 PM »
Thank you both for the preservation and restoration advise. At this point i think I will just stabilize it and study up on restoration.
The price of eggs got so darn high, I bought chickens......

Offline Daryl

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Re: What is this Horn damage?
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2023, 02:39:41 AM »
At one time, with the horn being very dry, would a sharp blow flake the horn off on the inside and make a thin spot, like a BB does to glass? Just a thought. I seems quite regular.
Daryl

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Offline LynnC

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Re: What is this Horn damage?
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2023, 04:36:18 AM »
I couldn't say Daryl. There is no splintering on the inside. Just a rice paper skin left on the outside. I thought it must be some kind of acid damage as it doesn't look like the usual holes of bug damage. Im going to hit it with bug spray an keep an eye on it.
The price of eggs got so darn high, I bought chickens......

Offline Tanselman

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Re: What is this Horn damage?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2023, 06:53:54 AM »
Keep in mind the holes are where the larva eat through the horn shell. Once inside, they begin eating the horn all around them,.. not just tunneling. The large, hollow area behind the thin spot is where larva have eaten out the body of the horn... the holes are where they went in and out. The preservative used by most collectors of powder horns that I know is broken up moth ball chips since most of this type damage is done by moth larva. But it is highly unlikely there is any active bug damage still going on... that probably occurred years ago when stored away in a dark place like a drawer or box on the shelf. Another method to kill larva or eggs if suspected in a horn, is to put the horn in a freezer for a week.

Shelby Gallien

Offline LynnC

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Re: What is this Horn damage?
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2023, 12:09:58 PM »
I really like the freezer idea. No chemicals. No smell.

Thanks for the tip Shelby!
The price of eggs got so darn high, I bought chickens......