RARE YORK COUNTY PENNSYLVANIA SCREW-TIP POWDER HORN

$750.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 490-2454

These elegant screw-tip powder horns are as quintessentially American as the Pennsylvania-Kentucky rifles they often accompanied. Produced as early as the French and Indian War, they retained their natural shape where European horns were often flattened or reshaped for the application of external decoration. The American maker then combined it with a turned base plug and sophisticated screw tip- at first screwing into a threaded shoulder and later screwing onto a short, threaded stem (the “external screw-tip.”) Some have argued this was merely to provide a larger aperture to fill the horn. A more convincing case has been made that it allowed for division of labor within the shop and increased output with a final coloring, polishing and assembly of all the parts - a bit of American practicality to meet high demand, since hunting was not restricted to nobility, but a necessity for anyone on the expanding frontier. The horns might be decorated, but much of their beauty lies in their architectural form.

This horn likely dates to the last quarter of the 18th century and first quarter of the 19th, roughly 1775 to 1825 or so, and uses a classic York County external screw tip with a domed base plug with turned grooves, a raised band, and chip carving. It lacks any grooves cut around the base or top of the horn itself, but the upper portion of the base, at the horn, is turned with several narrow grooves producing three narrow bands bordering two wider bands, the uppermost of which is convex. The bottom of the base is turned with two narrow grooves uppermost and at bottom with raised ring surrounded the iron strap staple. Below the two upper grooves is a raised, chip carved band that imitates a turned or lightly twisted ribbon. The screw-tip is a classic York form as well: finely turned to form five raised rings between its grooved and base and rounded tip.

The surface of the wood and the horn is very good and the color is pleasing. The horn itself is brown toward the tip and a warm, cream color toward the base, the lower edge showing just some narrow reddish-brown stain and one tiny chip. A modern rawhide thong with leather billets for the iron staples on the base plug and throat was attached for display, but could be removed. This is a very attractive, classic American powder horn.  [SR] [ph:L]

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