Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with Fraktur Embroidery Insert

The Face of God Fraktur

I decided that I wanted to combine my fraktur (18th & 19th Century German-American folk art) work with my leather work in some way.   Some sort of embroidery seemed the most sensible way to do it.   So, I decided to create an original fraktur design hand embroidered on a canvas insert in the flap of a Fur Trade era hunting pouch.   This hunting pouch (#36) is the result of that idea.   This is not a strictly historically correct pouch.   I have taken some creative license to pursue my artistic interests in fraktur.

The fraktur is titled the Face of God; representative of Jesus Christ (in the form of the peacock) as the human face of the trinity  (in the form of three tulips on each branch of the tree of life stemming from the heart of God) and the model for our lives.   It is stitched on natural cotton duck canvas using cotton embroidery floss.   About half the time to complete this pouch is in the  execution of the fraktur.  More pouches with different original hand embroidered fraktur are to follow.  That art work will be featured here.

The pouch itself is the best that I know how to make.   It is hand stitched using waxed linen thread out of 2-3 oz (new pouches will have 6 oz leather straps) vegetable tan cowhide, fully lined with a period red print, and incorporating rolled welts, rolled bindings, and a flap lining of calfskin.   The pouch is 8 1/2″ x 9″ overall with a main storage area that is about 5″ x 8″.   There is an internal pocket for small items.  The strap passes through the top of the apron and is stitched inside the pouch for the cleanest possible appearance.  The strap can be adjusted via a brass buckle to a maximum of 57″ top of bag to top of bag.   I will make the strap accommodate any buyer.

As with all my leather work, the leather is stained with the period correct vinegar and iron for a blue-black to dark brown finish.   Mink oil is put on top of that.   I have not aged this pouch in any way.  The wrinkles in the leather are just from turning it.

This pouch is sold, but the bespoke price for a similar pouch with a one of a kind embroidered insert is $950 plus $25 shipping/insurance and the applicable Virginia sales tax if shipped to a Virginia resident.

Bag #36 - Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert.
Bag #36 – Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert – The Face of God.
Bag #36 - Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert - Front
Bag #36 – Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert – The Face of God.- Front
Bag #36 - Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert - Back
Bag #36 – Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert – The Face of God.- Back
Bag #36 - Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert - Inside
Bag #36 – Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert – The Face of God.- Inside
Bag #36 - Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert - Inside
Bag #36 – Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert – The Face of God.- Inside

The God of Peace and Love

This pouch (#38) is identical to the one above (#36) in all ways except for the fraktur insert.   The insert is hand embroidered on natural cotton duck canvas using French made cotton embroidery floss.   The design is entitled “The God of Peace and Love.”

Pouch #38 is available for sale for $450 plus $25 shipping and any applicable Virginia sales tax.  

Photos of Pouch #38 are shown below.

Bag #38- Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert – The God of Peace and Love – Front
Bag #38- Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert – The God of Peace and Love – Back
Bag #38- Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert – The God of Peace and Love – Front
Bag #38- Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert – The God of Peace and Love – Inside
Bag #38- Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert – The God of Peace and Love – Inside

A Pouch for My Brother

This hunting pouch (#40) was created just for my brother.   He wanted the first bag I created above (#36), but spoke up a little too late.  That bag went fast.  The followup fraktur embroidery that I did wasn’t all that appealing to him.  So,  I created this one.   It has a similar symbology to the first pouch with a single peacock, front and center,  representing Christ as the human face of God.  The three tulips represent the Trinity.  I have just included a photo of the flap.   The rest is pretty much the same as the bags above.

Bag #40- Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert – Front
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Fraktur, Banded, Applied-tip Powder Horn #37

I have generally avoided scrimshaw because I have trouble controlling my hands.  However, I decided that I wanted to try again. I made this banded, applied-tip horn and added some fraktur scrimshaw. This is a traditional right hand carry horn with the horn itself from the right side of the cow. The horn has an antler tip and is a little less than 13.5″ around the outside curve not including the stopper. The base plug is a little less than 2.5″ in diameter. The base plug and stopper are walnut. I have just applied Tried and True to the wood and horn and have not aged the horn.

The fraktur features a peacock on the outside panel. The peacock represents Christ and is holding a tree of life with three tulips representing the trinity. There is another tree of life on the other side of the horn.

After finishing the scrimshaw and posting some photos, my colleages convinced me to color the fraktur scrimshaw.   So, I proceeded to add color to the horn.  I started by staining the horn with ferric nitrate giving me a parchment like base.   Then, I colored the fraktur as close to my watercolors as possible using Winston & Newton drawing inks.  I hope you like the result.

The bespoke price for for a horn like this is $235 for the base horn (turned base, applied-tip, and band).   Similar scrimshaw would be $200.   Color added to the horn would be another $100.  Then there is $25 shipping/insurance and any applicable Virginia sales tax.

Horn #37 – Banded, applied-tip, powder horn with fraktur – Outside
Horn #37 – Banded, applied-tip, powder horn with fraktur – Inside
Horn #37 – Banded, applied-tip, powder horn with fraktur – Top
Horn #37 – Banded, applied-tip, powder horn with fraktur – Bottom

 

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Early 18th Century Powder Horn #36

Shown here is my interpretation of a plain early 18th century horn.   It was made to go with my Mid 18th Century shot pouch.  This horn is based on the Gersham Biglow horn on page 13 of Powder Horns, Documents of History by Tom Grinslade.   That horn is dated to 1746.

This horn is 14 1/2″ around the outside curve not including the staple or stopper.   It is a little less that 3″ in diameter at the base.   There is a slightly domed walnut base plug that has been hollowed out about half it’s length.  The stopper is also walnut.

This is a traditional right hand horn intended to be carried on the right side.   That means that the horn is from the right side of the cow with the base pointing out and the spout pointing in when carried on the right side.

A horn like this would sell for $150 plus $15 shipping plus Virginia sales tax when shipped to a Virginia resident.

Horn #36 - An Early 18th Century Powsr Horn - Outside
Horn #36 – An Early 18th Century Powsr Horn – Outside
Horn #36 - An Early 18th Century Powsr Horn - Inside
Horn #36 – An Early 18th Century Powsr Horn – Inside
Horn #36 - An Early 18th Century Powsr Horn - Front to Back
Horn #36 – An Early 18th Century Powsr Horn – Base to Spout

Right or Left Hand Carry?

What is right or left hand carry?  Simply, it is the side of the body on which a horn is intended to be worn.  Historically,  a curve of the tip to the left as viewed from the top is a right hand carry horn and also from the right side of the cow.   A curve of the tip to the right would historically  be a left hand carry horn and from the left side of the cow.   If there is no significant curve of the horn as viewed from the top, then the horn can be easily worn on either side with no conflict.   Most horns have so little curve it really doesn’t matter much and the modern pattern of carry is frequently opposite of the historical pattern.

Carrying a horn on the same side of the body as it came from the cow results in the tip pointing toward the body and the base pointing away from the body.   I also like the base of the horn to point to ward the body, as do many modern wearers, so I usually use the opposite side horn and rotate it about 90 degrees so that both the tip and the base of the horn point into the body.    This makes a horn from the left side of the cow into a powder horn you can carry on the right side of the body.     This is my personal preference, but not generally historically correct.  Historically,  powder horns were usually carried on the same side of the body as they came from on the cow.   If you want to be completely historically correct,  you need to understand that.

Sometimes a horn that is technically a left hand horn might wrap around the body better on the right hand side and vice versa.    So,  in describing a horn,  I will tell you whether a horn is historically a left hand or a right hand.  Then I will tell you on which side the horn was built to be carried,  if it is different.    I will also try to include a photo from the top of the horn so you can see the curve for yourself.     On which side you actually carry a horn, that is up to you.

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Mid 18th Century Shot Pouch

Mid 18th Century shot pouch - Bag #34 - Front
Mid 18th Century shot pouch – Bag #34 – Front

Shown here is my version of a simple mid 18th Century shot pouch.   It is a variant of my Early VA shot pouch which is based on an original Virginia shot pouch that was documented by Wallace Gusler in the December 2009 Muzzle Blasts(pp. 4-8) as well as a French and Indian War shot pouch documented in the Clash of Empires exhibition catalog (p. 30).   This pouch is much more like the Clash of Empires pouch.

This pouch is a one piece bag, approximately 7″ x  7″,  with rounded bottom corners.   Essentially,  it is a “D” shaped pouch just like the Clash of Empires pouch.    There is a welt that acts as a center divider.   It is flat stitched up the sides.  This construction is common to both my Early Va pouch and the Clash of Empires pouch.

Mid 18th Century shot pouch - Bag #34 - Back
Mid 18th Century shot pouch – Bag #34 – Back

As there is no strap on the Clash of Empires pouch,  I used the same strap arrangement as on the Early VA pouch which was documented by Wallace Gusler from period sources.   That strap arrangement uses double buttons (think cuff links) to attach one side of the strap to the back of the pouch.  The other end of the strap is stitched to the back of the pouch.

This pouch is made from 3-4 oz vegetable tanned leather and the strap of 6 oz leather.  It is hand stitched with waxed linen thread and stained with vinegar and iron for a blue/black color.

Vinegar and iron is a period stain for leather and wood.   I like it because it is quick and easy to apply, doesn’t require a lot of stain, is permanent and doesn’t rinse out.   It works by reacting with the tannic acid in the leather.

This pouch has the flap tooled with a typical English pattern using an hand made star stamp.   Unfortunately,  this leather didn’t take tooling as well as I would have liked.  Some leather works better than others.

Mid 18th Century shot pouch - Bag #34 - Flap
Mid 18th Century shot pouch – Bag #34 – Flap
Mid 18th Century shot pouch - Bag #34 - Open Flap
Mid 18th Century shot pouch – Bag #34 – Open Flap

If I can make a pouch like this for you,  use the Contact page to initiate an order.  The bespoke price for this pouch is $115.   The tooling is an extra $20.    The shipping on a single bag is $15.   Sales tax of at least 5.3% (higher in some areas) will be added to orders shipped to a Virginia address.

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Fur Trade Era Shot or Hunting Pouches

Golden Age of Hunting Pouches

Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch - Pouch #29 - Full Front
Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch – Pouch #29 – Full Front

For many years I have concentrated on 18th century shot pouches and simple mountain shot pouches.   These are generally small and of simple construction.   Some may have been made by harness makers but most were home made.    When we get to the 19th century,   the shot pouch or hunting pouch became a larger and more sophisticated affair more likely to have been professionally made.  The golden age of the hunting pouch coincides with the American Fur Trade era of about 1816 to 1850.

Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch - Pouch #29 - Full Back
Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch – Pouch #29 – Full Back

This page features two similar Fur Trade Era hunting pouches with some sophisticated features.   Both  pouches feature a fringed welt and rolled bindings. The rolled bindings are along the edge of the flap and along the inside of the opening at the top of the front of the pouch.   The welts go where the front and back of the pouch attach to the gusset.    Both pouches have a  small internal pocket and a period printed fabric lining.   Additionally,  the straps pass through the apron at the top of the bag and attach to the inside of the pouch.  Both bags are made of 2-3 oz vegetable tanned cowhide or calfskin and 3-4 oz  (new pouches have 6 oz straps)  leather straps.

A Medium Single Hunting Pouch

This medium size single (one compartment)  pouch is about 8″ x 10″ overall, including the fringe.    The working part of the pouch is about 7″ x 7″.   The strap can usually be made up to at least 60″ and is adjusted with a brass buckle.    The flap has a little tooling on it.   I just couldn’t help but add a little decoration of a few diagonal lines.  I hope you agree that the whole bag has a very neat and professional appearance.

As are all my leather products, this pouch is hand stitched with waxed linen thread.    This bag is stitched at 8 stitches per inch.    I have used my standard vinegar and iron stain for a dark brown to black finish.   The bag is slightly aged and distressed.

Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch - Pouch #29 - Back
Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch – Pouch #29 – Back
Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch - Pouch #29 - Front
Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch – Pouch #29 – Front

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch - Pouch #29
Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch – Pouch #29
Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch - Pouch #29 - Inside
Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch – Pouch #29 – Inside
Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch - Pouch #29 - Inside Pocket
Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch – Pouch #29 – Inside Pocket

A Small Single Hunting Pouch

Pouch #30 - A small Fur Trade Era hunting pouch - Front
Pouch #30 – A small Fur Trade Era hunting pouch – Front

Shown here is a slightly smaller version of the bag above.  I actually like the shape a little better.

Pouch #30 - A small Fur Trade Era hunting pouch - Back
Pouch #30 – A small Fur Trade Era hunting pouch – Back

This small single (one compartment)  pouch is about 7.5″ x 8″ overall, including the fringe.    The working part of the pouch is roughly  6″ x 4.5″.   The main compartment is just a little bigger than my hand.  The strap is up to about 55″ top of bag to top of bag and is adjusted with a brass buckle.   The strap can be shortened, if necessary,  for the eventual owner.

As are all my leather products, this pouch is hand stitched with waxed linen thread.    This bag is stitched at 8 stitches per inch.    I have used my standard vinegar and iron stain for a dark brown to black finish.   The bag is slightly aged and distressed.

Pouch #30 - A small Fur Trade Era hunting pouch
Pouch #30 – A small Fur Trade Era hunting pouch
Pouch #30 - A small Fur Trade Era hunting pouch - Inside
Pouch #30 – A small Fur Trade Era hunting pouch – Inside
Pouch #30 - A small Fur Trade Era hunting pouch - Inside Pocket
Pouch #30 – A small Fur Trade Era hunting pouch – Inside Pocket

The pouch above is currently available for sale for $250 plus $15 shipping/insurance and 5.3% VA sales tax for VA destinations.   Use the Contact Form to let me know if you would like to purchase Pouch #30 or one like it.

Bespoke Pricing for Similar Fur Trade Pouches

  • Single Fur Trade Pouch (like #29 or #30)- $550 plus $25 shipping/insurance
  • Leather Powder Horn Hangers – $15 (Option with a pouch order)
  • Leather knife sheath attached to back of pouch – $35 (Option with a pouch order – client must provide knife)

Use the Contact Form to let me know if you would like to have a pouch made like #29 or #30.

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Fraktur Illustrations

Original Fraktur Illustrations

Shown here are some of my original designs inspired by 18th and 19th Century fraktur. Fraktur is the term for the illuminated documents created in the 18th & 19th centuries by German speaking immigrants to America.  Fraktur is typically associated with Pennsylvania, but it can be found anywhere that large groups of German speaking peoples settled, including my home state of Virginia.  The originals (as opposed to prints) of the designs shown here are hand drawn, hand inked, and hand colored using period correct water colors. These and my other illustrations are not a copy of antique fraktur but an expression of my own vision and creativity using cohesive motifs from antique documents. These and all my other illustrations of this size are done on 60lb, A4 (8.27″x11.7″), hot-pressed, acid free, ink and calligraphy paper from Sennelier. The work on A4 paper is mounted and matted for a standard 11″x14″ frame. The prices of the original illustrations will vary depending on the time it took to complete them and whether they are framed or unframed.   Unframed but mounted and matted prints can be purchased for just $39 on the same paper as the original.   The shipping on all illustrations is $10 with Virginia sales tax charged for Virginia residents.  Payment for fraktur illustrations will be by Paypal invoice.   Shipping is normally the next business day.

Birds of Paradise

Purely decorative contemporary framed fraktur water color of stylized birds and flowers.
Water color of stylized birds and flowers in a faux painted frame.

Mounted Print – Birds of Paradise – $39 plus shipping and VA sales tax.

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in purchasing one of the illustrations shown above. Make sure to mention the title of the illustration and whether you want the original (if available) or the print.

 

Celebration

Water color of a green parot and a fireworks of flowers mounted in a hand painted frame.
Water color of a green parot and a fireworks of flowers mounted in a faux painted frame.

Mounted Print – Celebration – $39 plus shipping and VA sales tax.

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in purchasing one of the illustrations shown above. Make sure to mention the title of the illustration and whether you want the original (if available) or the print.

 

Blossoming of Faith

Framed fraktur type water color representative of the Blossoming of Faith.

Mounted Print – Blossoming of Faith – $39 plus shipping and VA sales tax.

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in purchasing one of the illustrations shown above. Make sure to mention the title of the illustration and whether you want the original (if available) or the print.

 

Tree of Life

Water color of spiritual tree of life with wheat, thistles, flowers, and an angel

Mounted Print – Tree of Life – $39 plus shipping and VA sales tax.

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in purchasing one of the illustrations shown above. Make sure to mention the title of the illustration and whether you want the original (if available) or the print.

 

Fraktur Christmas Tree

Illustration of a Pennsylvania Dutch style Christmas tree.

Mounted Print – Fraktur Christmas Tree – $39 plus shipping and VA sales tax.

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in purchasing one of the illustrations shown above. Make sure to mention the title of the illustration and whether you want the original (if available) or the print.

 

12 Point Star

Illustration of yellow and blue 12 point star design reminiscent of Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs.

Mounted Print – 12 Point Star – $39 plus shipping and VA sales tax.

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in purchasing one of the illustrations shown above. Make sure to mention the title of the illustration and whether you want the original (if available) or the print.

Strickler 2

colorful decorative work after 19th Century Valley of Virginia fraktur artist Jacob Strickler.

Mounted Print – Strickler2 – $39 plus shipping and VA sales tax.

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in purchasing one of the illustrations shown above. Make sure to mention the title of the illustration and whether you want the original (if available) or the print.

 

Serenity

Serenity Prayer Fraktur

Mounted Original Watercolor – Serenity Prayer – $49 plus shipping and VA sales tax.

Mounted Print – Serenity Prayer – $39 plus shipping and VA sales tax.

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in purchasing one of the illustrations shown above. Make sure to mention the title of the illustration and whether you want the original (if available) or the print.

 

Fraktur Bookmarks Set

Fraktur Bookmarks Set
Fraktur Bookmarks Set
Fraktur Bookmark - Peacock
Fraktur Bookmark – Peacock
Fraktur Bookmark - Little Birds
Fraktur Bookmark – Little Birds
Fraktur Bookmark - Tulips
Fraktur Bookmark – Tulips
Fraktur Bookmark - Flowered Vine
Fraktur Bookmark – Flowered Vine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laminated Fraktur Bookmarks, Set of Four – $19 plus $4 shipping and VA sales tax.

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in purchasing the set of bookmarsk shown above. Make sure to mention Fraktur Bookmarks Set in your e-mail.

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Southern Mountain Shot Pouches & Powder Horns

Southern Heart Shaped Shot Pouch

Heart shaped southern mountain shot pouch and powder horn
Bag #11, Horn #7 – Full Front
Heart shaped southern mountain shot pouch and powder horn
Bag #11, Horn #7 – Full Back

Most of the southern mountain shot pouches shown on this page were copied from Jim Webb’s book Sketches of Hunting Pouches, Powder Horns, and Accoutrements of Southern Appalachia. I made the first, heart shaped, shot pouches pictured here exactly as shown on pages 18-19; approximately 7.5″wide x 7.5″ high, using 3-4oz  (straps on the new bags are 6 oz) vegetable tanned cowhide and linen thread.This shot pouch design consists of a one piece back and flap with a front panel attached via a 1″ gusset that goes around the entire pouch and attaches to the strap.  The strap can  generally be cut up to at least 60″ top of bag to top of bag.

Back of heart shaped southern mountain shot pouch
Bag #11, Horn #7 – Back

The shot pouch is assembled such that the flesh sides are stitched together without a welt, and the bag is not turned. This results in the gusset folding inward. It is an unusual arrangement, but that is how the original was constructed. I used an iron buckle on the strap to allow for seasonal adjustment. The leather was stained with vinegar and iron. The strap is about 60″ and can be shortened as much as necessary just by punching new holes for the buckle.

Southern mountain shot pouch and powder horn
Bag #11, Horn #7 – Front

The attached powder horn is based on several original powder horns from Southwest Virginia. It is about 13″ around the outside curve with a 2 1/2″ base plug. It is hand scraped and filed with a turned walnut base plug attached using hand forged nails. A turned walnut stopper finishes the horn. The horn is dyed yellow with aquafortis and appropriately aged.

Below is a heart shaped pouch with a slightly different horn.  This horn has an turned applied collar instead of integral rings, and is based on the horn on pages 228-229 in Jay Hopkins book Bone Tipped and Banded Horns.    It is about 12 1/2″ around the outside curve with a 2 1/4″ base plug.   

Bag #24, Horn #24 - A powder horn with a turned base plug and a applied turned collar - Front
Bag #24, Horn #24 – A powder horn with a turned base plug and a applied turned collar – Front
Bag #24, Horn #24 - A powder horn with a turned base plug and a applied turned collar - Back
Bag #24, Horn #24 – A powder horn with a turned base plug and a applied turned collar – Back

 

 

Below are two heart shaped shot pouches with plain powder horns  that are much more typical of what you would find in the southern mountains.  The bottom outfit uses linen cord and chain to attach all the accouterments, much as it would have in the period.

Pouch #27 and Horn #28 - A typical southern shot pouch and powder horn outfit.
Bag #27,  Horn #28 – A heart shaped shot pouch with a plain carved throat powder horn
Horn #3 - Bag #8 -  A plain southern powder horn attached by linen cord to a Southern heart shaped shot pouch.
Bag #8, Horn #3 – Another heart shaped shot pouch with a very plain powder horn

Typical One Piece Shot Pouch

Bag #25, Horn #29 - Typical Mountain Shot Pouch & Powder Horn
Bag #26, Horn #29 – Typical Mountain Shot Pouch

This is a very typical one piece rectangular shot pouch based on the one shown on pages 14-15 of Jim Webb’s book. It is just one piece of leather stitched up the sides with a welt and then turned inside out. I added the welt since the pouch was to be turned. The original did not have one. The pouch measures about 7″ wide by about 8″ high.  The strap can generally  be cut up to at least 60″ top of bag to top of bag.

The attached horn (#29) is very similar to Horn #24 shown above.    It has a turned base plug and an turned, applied collar.  It is about 13 1/2″ around the outside curve (button to stopper) with an approximately  2 1/8″ base plug.   

The pouch body and strap are made from 3-4 oz (new pouches have 6 oz straps) vegetable tanned cowhide.   An iron buckle is used for strap adjustment.   The leather is stained with vinegar and iron for a blue-black color and finished with mink oil and black shoe polish.  

Bag #25, Horn #29 - Typical Mountain Shot Pouch
Bag #26, Horn #29 – Typical Mountain Shot Pouch
Bag #25, Horn #29 - Typical Mountain Shot Pouch & Powder Horn
Bag #26, Horn #29 – Typical Mountain Shot Pouch

Small Two Piece Shot Pouch

Bag #25, Horn #27 - An outfit for a southern squirrel rifle
Bag #25, Horn #27 – An outfit for a southern squirrel rifle

This shot pouch is shown on pages 16-17 of Jim Webb’s book.  It is a very simple two piece (back with flap, and front)  pouch flat sewn along the bottom and up the sides  with a brass button holding the flap closed.  It is little under  7″ wide  x 6″ high.  The strap is a maximum of about 54″ top of bag to top of bag and can be shortened as necessary.  It is basically just large enough for your hand, and I would only expect to  carry a few balls, some patch material, and maybe a measure and a couple flints.      I imagine it being carried with a squirrel rifle and paired it with a very small banded screw-tip horn for just a few shots.   

The horn is about 10 1/2″ around the outside curve (staple to stopper) with a base plug about 2 1/8″ in diameter.  It is straight so it can be correct as either a left or right hand carry, and has been setup as a right hand carry.  I figure it might hold 10 shots worth of powder for a small caliber rifle.   

The pouch body and strap are made from 3-4 oz (new pouches have 6 oz straps) vegetable tanned cowhide.   An iron buckle is used for strap adjustment.   The strap can generally  be cut up to at least 60″ top of bag to top of bag.   The leather is stained with vinegar and iron for a blue-black color and finished with mink oil and black shoe polish.  

Bag #25, Horn #27 - An outfit for a southern squirrel rifle
Bag #25, Horn #27 – An outfit for a southern squirrel rifle
Bag #25, Horn #27 - An outfit for a southern squirrel rifle
Bag #25, Horn #27 – An outfit for a southern squirrel rifle

Pillow Ticking and Leather Pouch

Shown here is a very practical pouch made from pillow ticking and a bit of leather for the flap.   The bag is approximately 8″x 10″ and fully lined in that there are no raw edges showing on the inside.   A leather reinforcement has been placed on the inside of the bag and stitched to the flap.   The leather strap is stitched to the flap and internal reinforcement and is adjusted by an iron buckle.   The strap is a maximum of about 57″ top of bag to top of bag.    It can be shortened as necessary for the eventual owner.  

Pouch #31 - Pillow ticking and leather pouch - Front
Pouch #31 – Pillow ticking and leather pouch – Front
Pouch #31 - Pillow ticking and leather pouch - Back
Pouch #31 – Pillow ticking and leather pouch – Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pouch #31 - Pillow ticking and leather pouch - Front
Pouch #31 – Pillow ticking and leather pouch – Front
Pouch #31 - Pillow ticking and leather pouch - Inside
Pouch #31 – Pillow ticking and leather pouch – Inside

The pouch above is for sale for $75 plus $15 shipping and 5.3% VA Sales tax, if applicable.   Use the Contact Form to let me know if you would like to purchase Pouch #31  or one like it.

Bespoke Pricing for Shot Pouches & Powder Horns

Bespoke Pricing for items like the ones shown above is as follows:

  • Southern Heart Shaped Shot Pouch (like #11) – $145 plus shipping
  • Southern One Piece Shot Pouch (like #26) – $140 plus shipping
  • Small Two Piece Shot Pouch (like #25)- $135 plus shipping
  • Pillow Ticking and Leather Pouch (like #31) – $135 plus shipping
  • Leather Powder Horn Hangers – $15 (Option with a pouch order)
  • Leather knife sheath attached to back of pouch – $35 (Option with a pouch order – client must provide knife)
  • Plain Southern Powder Horn with a flat base plug (with staple)  and  a simple carved throat and spout (like #3 or #28) – $150 plus shipping
  • Southern Powder Horn with a Turned Base Plug, and a carved throat and spout with integral rings (like #7)  – $210 plus shipping
  • Southern Powder Horn with a Turned Base Plug and a  applied collar (#24 or #29) – $170 plus shipping.
  • Multiple Banded Screw-tip Powder Horn (like #27) – $275 plus shipping
  • Tin Powder Measure, Whipped Brush and Pick set (as shown with Bag #11) – $55

Priority shipping and insurance on a single item is $15. Shipping on an outfit is $20.  Shipping of the high value items is $25.  I will collect VA Sales Tax for items shipping to VA residents.

If you would like something similar to what is shown on this page, or even something completely different, use the Contact form to send me an e-mail. See FAQ for more information on purchasing custom work.

The availability of any particular horn design depends on the availability of an appropriate unfinished horn in my inventory.

I try to make all my recreated shot pouches and horns look used. That means adding wrinkles, puckers, perhaps some cracks, and a bit of dirt and oil.  I leave normal blemishes in the leather that add some character.

Right or Left Hand Carry?

What is right or left hand carry?  Simply, it is the side of the body on which a horn is intended to be worn.  Historically,  a curve of the tip to the left as viewed from the top is a right hand carry horn and also from the right side of the cow.   A curve of the tip to the right would historically  be a left hand carry horn and from the left side of the cow.   If there is no significant curve of the horn as viewed from the top, then the horn can be easily worn on either side with no conflict.   Most horns have so little curve it really doesn’t matter much and the modern pattern of carry is frequently opposite of the historical pattern.

Carrying a horn on the same side of the body as it came from the cow results in the tip pointing toward the body and the base pointing away from the body.   I also like the base of the horn to point toward the body, as do many modern wearers, so I usually use the opposite side horn and rotate it about 90 degrees so that both the tip and the base of the horn point into the body.    This makes a horn from the left side of the cow into a powder horn you can carry on the right side of the body.     This is my personal preference, but not generally historically correct.  Historically,  powder horns were usually carried on the same side of the body as they came from on the cow.   If you want to be completely historically correct,  you need to understand that.

Sometimes a horn that is technically a left hand horn might wrap around the body better on the right hand side and vice versa.    So,  in describing a horn,  I will tell you whether a horn is historically a left hand or a right hand.  Then I will tell you on which side the horn was built to be carried,  if it is different.    I will also try to include a photo from the top of the horn so you can see the curve for yourself.     On which side you actually carry a horn, that is up to you.

 

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Virginia Applied Tip Powder Horns

Applied tip powder horns, as the name implies, have turned horn, antler, or bone tips that either screw onto or are pinned to the powder horn body.  These are professionally made horns that had turned butt plugs as well, and sometimes turned horn bands. Screw-tip powder horns were made as early as the French and Indian War in Philadelphia and spread west into Pennsylvania and south into Virginia and North Carolina.   The best supported explanation for the purpose of screw-tip powder horns, as presented by Art DeCamp, is that the turned screw-tips (and other applied tips ) allowed for the mass production of powder horns where each step of the manufacturing process could be handled by one person.    Turned horn bands and turned wood base plugs served the same purpose.   By turning all these parts,  a fancy powder horn could be made quickly by professional horners.

I performed all the steps myself for the screw-tip powder horns displayed below.   Each is an example of a Virginia screw-tip powder horn.   The single turned band is the defining feature of a Virginia powder horn.   The shape of the base plug is characteristic of powder horns from the middle portion of the Valley of Virginia.   As with most southern screw-tip powder horns, the screw-tips on the powder horns below have an internal thread.   The powder horn bodies have an external thread.  Both these horns have turned walnut stoppers.   Both screw-tips are dyed to match the base plugs and stoppers   The band on Horn #5 below is also dyed horn.   The base plug on Horn #5 is maple stained with aqua fortis.   The base plug on Horn #6 is walnut.   Both powder horns are stained with aqua fortis and aged.

I will make any banded, screw-tip powder horn, with a turned base plug like the ones shown here for $250 plus shipping. See FAQ for more information on ordering custom work.

Horn #5 - Outside curve of small Virginia screw-tip powder horn with single band.
Horn #5 – 13 1/2″ outside curve , 2 1/4″ dia. base plug

Horn #5 - Top of small Virginia screw-tip powder horn with band.
Horn #5 – Top

top of single banded, screw-tip powder horn
Horn #6 – Top

Side view of single banded, screw-tip powder horn
Horn #6 – 15″ outside curve , 2 3/4″ dia. base plug

 Horn #26 - A slightly smaller version of Horn #6 - 15" around the outside curve, 2 3/8" dia. base plug
Horn #26 – A slightly smaller version of Horn #6 – 15″ around the outside curve, 2 3/8″ dia. base plug

Horn #21 - A slightly different banded, screw-tip horn - 14 1/2" outside curve, 2 3/8" base plug
Horn #21 – A slightly different banded, screw-tip horn – 14 1/2″ outside curve, 2 3/8″ dia. base plug

 

Below is another kind of applied tip powder horn. This one is based on an early Virginia horn documented in Jay Hopkins book;
Bone Tipped & Banded Horns, Vol 1; pp. 138-9. This horn has a pinned turned antler tip. The butt plug and stopper are turned curly maple. The wood, horn, and antler were stained with aqua fortis (iron nitrate). The butt plug and tip were pinned with steel (iron on the original) wire pins.

Horn #20 - 16" outside curve, 13" tip to tip, 2.5&quot dia. butt plug
Horn #20 – 16″ outside curve, 13″ tip to tip, 2 1/2″ dia. butt plug

I will make a similar pinned tip horn with a turned base plug for $215 plus shipping. See FAQ for more information on ordering custom work.

If I can make a powder horn for you, use the Contact form to send me an e-mail. The availability of any particular horn design depends on the availability of an appropriate unfinished horn in my inventory.

Right or Left Hand Carry for Powder Horns?

What is right or left hand carry?  Simply, it is the side of the body on which a horn is intended to be worn.  Historically,  a curve of the tip to the left as viewed from the top is a right hand carry horn and also from the right side of the cow.   A curve of the tip to the right would historically  be a left hand carry horn and from the left side of the cow.   If there is no significant curve of the horn as viewed from the top, then the horn can be easily worn on either side with no conflict.   Most horns have so little curve it really doesn’t matter much and the modern pattern of carry is frequently opposite of the historical pattern.

Carrying a horn on the same side of the body as it came from the cow results in the tip pointing toward the body and the base pointing away from the body.   I also like the base of the horn to point toward the body, as do many modern wearers, so I usually use the opposite side horn and rotate it about 90 degrees so that both the tip and the base of the horn point into the body.    This makes a horn from the left side of the cow into a powder horn you can carry on the right side of the body.     This is my personal preference, but not generally historically correct.  Historically,  powder horns were usually carried on the same side of the body as they came from on the cow.   If you want to be completely historically correct,  you need to understand that.

Sometimes a horn that is technically a left hand horn might wrap around the body better on the right hand side and vice versa.    So,  in describing a horn,  I will tell you whether a horn is historically a left hand or a right hand.  Then I will tell you on which side the horn was built to be carried,  if it is different.    I will also try to include a photo from the top of the horn so you can see the curve for yourself.     On which side you actually carry a horn, that is up to you.

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U.S. Rifleman Powder Horn

This project is really unusual. I was asked to produce a powder horn appropriate for for an U.S. issue 1803 rifleman’s pouch. You don’t see very many military issue powder horns as most muzzle loading military weapons used paper cartridges. However, a rifle that shoots a patched round ball requires a powder horn or flask.

I was able to find a couple of original arsenal issued rifleman’s horns. They have base plugs like the one in the example shown here, that are dished out to form a funnel around the removable filler plug hole.

There are some differences between the original and the horn shown here. First, the strap was attached to the filler plug on the original via a groove turned in the filler plug. However, the customer wanted loops for the strap attachment. Hence the wire loops in this horn.

Second, the original horn had a metal tip with a spring loaded valve. At the time I was making this horn, I could not acquire a reproduction metal tip, and the customer did not want to pay for me to fabricate one. So, I decided to use a plain screw-tip as a plausible period replacement for the metal tip.

I hope you like the result.

The bespoke price for a horn like this is $250 plus $20 shipping/insurance and any applicable sales tax for horns shipped to a Virginia address.  To order a horn like the one shown above, or to discuss a different project, use the Contact form to send me an e-mail. See FAQ for more information on purchasing custom work. The availability of any particular design depends on my inventory of unfinished horns.Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail
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Gun #18 – In the Style of Alfred Gross

Shown here is an iron mounted rifle based on several rifles made by Alfred Gross of East Tennessee. At one end of the spectrum is that famous silver mounted (silver over iron) rifle by Alfred Gross, and on the other end are completely plain iron mounted rifles. This rifle is in the middle with thirteen sterling silver inlays. The mounts are pretty much the same on all the iron mounted rifles made by Alfred Gross, particularly the trigger guard. I worked very hard to match the Alfred Gross trigger guard on this rifle. I am pretty sure that I made three or four guards before I got to the one I used.

I never really know how to finish an iron mounted rifle. We only know what they look like now, at about 200 years old. We only have vague clues about what they looked like new. Consequently, I really have to age iron mounted rifles to some extent to look something like what they look like today. On this rifle, I went almost to that point and then scrubbed off the black glaze so that you could still see the outstanding figure.

Like most of the southern iron mounted rifles, this one is very heavy at 11 lbs, 5 ozs. This barrel is based on the one on the over the top silver mounted rifle by Alfred Gross and is actually larger at the muzzle than at the breech. The muzzle is a little over 1″. At 47″ long in 45 caliber, it is a heavy barrel with makes for a heavy rifle. The rifle was almost certainly built for target shooting from a rest.

The length of pull is approximately 14″ to the front trigger. The drop is a little more than 3″ and the cast off is about .25″.

This is the last rifle for a customer. From now on, the gun projects are for me.

The technical details:

Stock: Very curly, stump cut, quartersawn, Red Maple
Lock: L&R Late English
Barrel: Custom Ed Rayl barrel; 47″, 45 caliber
Trigger: Davis double set triggers
Mounts: Hand forged mild steel butt piece and trigger guard with other mounts made from steel sheet

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