Original Pre-American Revolutionary War Scrimshaw Powder Horn Map of Mohawk and Hudson Rivers

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. Measuring 12 inches in overall length this powder horn would have been used with black powder used in the flintlock muskets of the mid 18th century.

The horn is clearly of the period of the third quarter of the 1700s, we estimate between 1750 and 1775. The wooden end plug, under 2.5 in diameter, shows some period impressed initials A.T. and there is a horn extension overhang with two holes where the body belt thong was once attached.

The central part of this small horn is fully scrimshawed in the most breathtaking fashion with several motifs most noticeably the map of northern New York State including the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers begin gin at Albany and ending at lake Ontario and Lake Champlain respectively. It incorporates tremendous detail including place names such as New York, Albany, Saratoga, Great Falls, Fort George, Fort Ticonderoga, Crown point as well as Lake Oneida and Lake Ontario. There are other scrimshawed sections showing floral patterns, a detailed image of the Georgian Coat of Arms including the Lion and the Unicorn and a wonderful Man-o-War ship.

We are believe that the horn itself dates from the 18th century, but we all know how these original map horns have been forged for many years. We have encountered masses of dreadful examples being offered as original and occasionally one gets to see an acknowledged original either from a prominent collection or in a museum.

This horn came to us as part of an old large private collection we purchased in England in 2014. It has no provenance that we have been able to discover. However, after careful consideration, we feel it is legitimate but without provenance we cannot ask $25,000 like ones that have passed through major auction houses have sold for. Therefore, it is reasonably priced and will make a wonderful research project for its next owner.
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